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Why a fixed workweek?

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  • Díaz, Antonia
  • Echevarria, Cristina

Abstract

The main goal of this article is to explain why the fixed workweek appeared. To this purpose we differentiate between "jobs" and "hours per job". We consider an economy where hours and number of workers are substitutes in production but in which hiring a worker entails a fixed cost plus a variable cost per hour worked. As a consequence, firms would like workers to work as many hours as possible. In an unregulated economy, workers work more hours that they would like to at the on-going wage rate. This situation characterizes the economy of today's industrialized countries in the 19th century.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 790-798

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:5:p:790-798

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

Related research

Keywords: Labour supply Workweek length Employment Unions;

References

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  1. Barry Eichengreen, 1987. "The impact of late nineteenth-century unions on labor earnings and hours: Iowa in 1894," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 40(4), pages 501-515, July.
  2. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Working Papers 1950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Costa, Dora L, 2000. "The Wage and the Length of the Work Day: From the 1890s to 1991," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 156-81, January.
  4. Jeremy Atack & Fred Bateman & Robert A. Margo, 2000. "Productivity in Manufacturing and the Length of the Working Day: Evidence from the 1880 Census of Manufactures," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0045, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  5. Marimon, R. & Zilibotti, F., 1999. "Employment and Distributional Effects of Restricting Working Time," Economics Working Papers eco99/19, European University Institute.
  6. Saul J. Blaustein, 1993. "Unemployment Insurance in the United States: The First Half Century," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number uius.
  7. Victoria Osuna & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Implementing the 35 Hour Workweek by Means of Overtime Taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 179-206, January.
  8. Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1996. "Work schedules, wages, and employment in a general equilibrium model with team production," Working Paper 9613, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  9. Ortega, Javier, 2003. "Working-Time Regulation, Firm Heterogeneity, and Efficiency," CEPR Discussion Papers 3736, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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