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The Shorter Working Week, Productivity and Employment: New Estimates Based on Business Data


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  • Bruno Crépon


  • Marie Leclair


  • Sébastien Roux



Business microdata should be able to measure the employment effect of the shorter working week based on a comparison of firms that have switched to the 35-hour week with those that have remained on 39 hours. Such a comparison should cover firms that are as similar as possible. However, do we have enough information on these firms to make them comparable? Our aim is to examine in which scenario the shorter working week may have created jobs. Productivity losses are found to be smaller than the effects of wage moderation and reductions in charges. The Aubry I firms are therefore thought to have taken advantage of the shorter working week to reduce their unit production costs. This decrease in production costs could therefore have contributed to the buoyancy of their employment. The work sharing mechanisms do not appear to play a prominent role in these developments.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques in its journal Economie et Statistique.

Volume (Year): 376-377 (2005)
Issue (Month): (June)
Pages: 55-89

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Handle: RePEc:crs:ecosta:es376-377c

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Related research

Keywords: Policy Evaluation; Working Time; Productivity; Employment;

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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Matthieu Bunel, 2002. "Les déterminants des embauches des établissements à 35 heures : aides incitatives, effet de sélection et modalités de mise en oeuvre," Post-Print halshs-00178456, HAL.
  2. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gilbert Cette & Nicolas Dromel & Dominique Méda, 2004. "Les déterminants du jugement des salariés sur la RTT," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 376(1), pages 117-151.
  4. repec:fth:inseep:9730 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Matthieu Bunel & Stéphane Jugnot, 2003. "35 heures. Évaluations de l'effet emploi," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 54(3), pages 595-606.
  6. Craine, Roger, 1973. "On the Service Flow from Labour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(11), pages 39-46, January.
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