Evaluating the impact of direct incentives policy measures on occupational safety and health in Italy: a difference-in-difference design approach

Angelo Castaldo (Sapienza University of Rome)
Alessia Marrocco (Sapienza University of Rome)
Anna Rita Germani (Sapienza University of Rome)
Marco Forti (Sapienza University of Rome)
Andrea Salustri (Sapienza University of Rome)


Improving working conditions is a longstanding goal of the European Union. This purpose was early
established in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and it has been pursued since
the adoption of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Framework Directive (89/391/EEC) and
now relaunched through the EC communication “Strategic framework on health and safety at work
2021-2027”. In Italy, on the ground of the Legislative Decree n. 81/2008, the National Institute for
Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL) has launched the ISI initiative that provides economic
incentives (in the form of a grant) for promoting investments to improve the health and safety of
the workers, especially for SMEs. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the impact of the Inail ISI OSH
state aid scheme through a difference-in-difference design approach, using a unique microdata
from a broad set of treated and untreated firms. The paper is oriented to contribute to the policy
maker awareness on the direct (occupational accidents rates) and indirect (profitability and business
resilience) impacts that are generated by the ISI initiative.

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