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Employed 40 Hours or Not Employed 39: Lessons from the 1982 Mandatory Reduction of the Workweek

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  • Bruno Crepon
  • Francis Kramarz

Abstract

We investigate the effects of the February 1, 1982, mandatory reduction of weekly working hours in France. Just after Fran�ois Mitterrand's election in 1981, the minimum wage was increased by 5 percent. The workweek was then reduced from 40 to 39 hours. At the same time, stable monthly earnings for minimum-wage earners were mandated. We show that workers employed 40 hours and above in March 1981 were more likely to lose their jobs between 1981 and 1982 than workers employed 3639 hours in March 1981. Moreover, many workers were still working 40 hours after February. These workers were also strongly affected by this reduction. Our estimates of the impact of this one-hour reduction on employment losses vary between 2 percent and 4 percent. Minimum-wage workers were most affected by the changes.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 110 (2002)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1355-1389

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:110:y:2002:i:6:p:1355-1389

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References

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  1. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," CIRANO Working Papers 94s-23, CIRANO.
  2. Francis Kramarz & Thomas Philippon, 2000. "The Impact of Differenctial Payroll Tax Subsidies on Minimum Wage Employment," Working Papers 2000-10, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. Guido W. Imbens, 1999. "The Role of the Propensity Score in Estimating Dose-Response Functions," NBER Technical Working Papers 0237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Identification and Estimation of Causal Effects of Multiple Treatments Under the Conditional Independence Assumption," IZA Discussion Papers 91, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  6. Jennifer Hunt, 1996. "Has Work-Sharing Worked in Germany?," NBER Working Papers 5724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux & David N. Margolis, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Youth Employment in France and the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 427-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1999. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 843-877, August.
  9. Abowd, John M & Kramarz, Francis & Margolis, David N, 1999. "Minimum Wages and Employment in France and the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 2159, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Simmons, R. & Schank, Thorsten & Andrews, Martyn J., 2004. "Does Worksharing Work? Some Empirical Evidence from the IAB Panel," Discussion Papers 25, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  11. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  12. Ehrenberg, Ronald G., 1971. "Heterogeneous labor, the internal labor market, and the dynamics of the employment-hours decision," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 85-104, March.
  13. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  14. Bell, David N.F. & Blanchflower, David G., 2011. "Youth Unemployment in Europe and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 5673, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Calmfors, Lars & Hoel, Michael, 1988. " Work Sharing and Overtime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(1), pages 45-62.
  16. Olivier Marchand & Etienne Turpin & Daniel Rault, 1983. "Des 40 heures aux 39 heures : processus et réactions des entreprises," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 154(1), pages 3-15.
  17. Kramarz, Francis & Margolis, David N. & Abowd, John M. & Philippon, Thomas, 2000. "The Tail of Two Countries: Minimum Wages and Employment in France and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 203, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2009. "Critical Analysis of Some Well-Intended Proposals to Fight Unemployment," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2009 2009-17, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  2. Hamermesh, Daniel, 2008. "Fun with matched firm-employee data: Progress and road maps," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 662-672, August.
  3. Daiji Kawaguchi & Jungmin Lee & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2012. "A Gift of Time," NBER Working Papers 18643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kuroda, Sachiko, 2010. "Do Japanese Work Shorter Hours than before? Measuring trends in market work and leisure using 1976-2006 Japanese time-use survey," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 481-502, December.
  5. Chang, Juin-jen & Huang, Chun-chieh & Lai, Ching-chong, 2007. "Working hours reduction and wage contracting style in a dynamic model with labor adjustment costs," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 971-993, March.
  6. Giannelli, Gianna Claudia & Braschi, Cristina, 2002. "Reducing Hours of Work: Does Overtime Act as a Brake Upon Employment Growth? An Analysis by Gender for the Case of Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 557, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Machikita, Tomohiro, 2006. "Career Crisis? Impacts of Financial Shock on the Entry-Level Labor Market: Evidence from Thailand," IDE Discussion Papers 83, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  8. Pierre Boisard, 2004. "Working time policy in France," Post-Print halshs-00400703, HAL.
  9. Carlo Altavilla & Antonio Garofalo & Concetto Paolo Vinci, 2004. "Evaluating The Effects Of Working Hours On Employment And Wages," Working Papers 11_2004, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  10. Skans, Oskar Nordstrom, 2004. "The impact of working-time reductions on actual hours and wages: evidence from Swedish register-data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 647-665, October.
  11. Philippe Askenazy, 2013. "Working time regulation in France from 1996 to 2012," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(2), pages 323-347.
  12. Tomohiro Machikita, 2005. "Career Crisis? The Impacts of Financial Shock on Entry-Level Labour Market: Experimental Evidences from Thailand in 1997," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d04-79, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  13. M. J. Andrews & T. Schank & R. Simmons, 2005. "Does Worksharing Work? Some Empirical Evidence From The Iab-Establishment Panel," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(2), pages 141-176, 05.

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