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Chapter 3: Longer Working Hours - the Beginning of a new Trend?

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  • Lars Calmfors
  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Seppo Honkapohja
  • John Kay
  • Willi Leibfritz
  • Gilles Saint-Paul
  • Hans-Werner Sinn
  • Xavier Vives

Abstract

This chapter reviews working time developments in Western Europe. The main issue is whether recent agreements on longer working time (at unchanged pay) in Germany represent a reversal of the earlier trend towards shorter working time that could also spread to other Western European countries with low working hours, such as Belgium, France and the Netherlands. The chapter views the agreements on longer working hours in Germany as a response to credible employer threats of outsourcing jobs. Increases in working time will certainly raise output, but they are also likely to increase the number of jobs, especially in the long run.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CESifo Group Munich in its journal EEAG Report on the European Economy.

Volume (Year): (2005)
Issue (Month): (03)
Pages: 51-68

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Handle: RePEc:ces:eeagre:v::y:2005:i::p:51-68

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  1. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
  2. Kapteyn, Arie & Kalwij, Adriaan & Zaidi, Asghar, 2000. "The Myth of Worksharing," IZA Discussion Papers 188, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Marimon, Ramon & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1999. "Employment and Distributional Effects of Restricting Working Time," CEPR Discussion Papers 2127, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Hart, R A & Sharot, T, 1978. "The Short-run Demand for Workers and Hours: A Recursive Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 299-309, June.
  5. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1995. "A Framework for Analysing the Political Support for Active Labour Market Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Earle, John S & Pencavel, John, 1990. "Hours of Work and Trade Unionism," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S150-74, January.
  7. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Jul, pages 2-13.
  8. Booth, Alison & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 1987. "The Employment Effects of a Shorter Working Week," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 54(214), pages 237-48, May.
  9. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  10. Gilles Saint-Paul, 1993. "On the Political Economy of Labor Market Flexibility," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1993, Volume 8, pages 151-196 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Olivier Blanchard, 2004. "The Economic Future of Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 3-26, Fall.
  12. Calmfors, L. & Nymoen, R., 1990. "Real Wage Adjustment And Employment Policies In The Nordic Countries," Papers 461, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  13. Thomas Aronsson & James R. Walker, 1997. "The Effects of Sweden's Welfare State on Labor Supply Incentives," NBER Chapters, in: The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model, pages 203-266 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-93.
  15. Linda Bell & Richard Freeman, 1994. "Why Do Americans and Germans Work Different Hours?," NBER Working Papers 4808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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