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The Employment Effects of a Shorter Working Week

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  • Booth, Alison
  • Schiantarelli, Fabio

Abstract

Labor organizations currently argue that reducing the standard working week will help lower the high unemployment of the 1980s. Opponents maintai n that this will increase labor costs, and therefore not alleviate un employment. This paper analyzes the employment effects of a cut in ho urs, using the monopoly union and efficient bargaining models of the union and firm. Under various developments of the models, the results are quite consistent: a reduction in hours has employment effects th at are at best ambiguous and very often negative. A puzzle remains as to why trade unions are pressing for shorter hours. Copyright 1987 by The Review of Economic Studies Limited.

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Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 54 (1987)
Issue (Month): 214 (May)
Pages: 237-48

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:54:y:1987:i:214:p:237-48

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