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Worktime Regulations and Spousal Labor Supply

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  • Dominique Goux
  • Eric Maurin
  • Barbara Petrongolo

Abstract

We investigate cross-hour effects in spousal labor supply exploiting independent variation in hours worked generated by the introduction of the short workweek in France in the late 1990s. We find that female and male employees treated by the shorter legal workweek reduce their weekly labor supply by about 2 hours, and do not experience any reduction in their monthly earnings. While wives of treated men do not seem to adjust their working time at either the intensive or extensive margins, husbands of treated wives respond by cutting their labor supply by about half an hour to one hour per week, according to specifications and samples. Further tests reveal that husbands' labor supply response did not entail the renegotiation of usual hours with employers or changes in earnings, but involved instead a reduction in (unpaid) work involvement, whether within a given day, or through an increase in the take-up rate of paid vacation and/or sick leave. These margins of adjustment are shown to have no detrimental impact on men's (current) earnings. The estimated cross-hour effects are consistent with the presence of spousal leisure complementarity for husbands, though not for wives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1096.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1096

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: Spousal labor supply; cross-hour effects; workweek reduction;

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References

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  1. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 1999. "Persistence of Interindustry Wage Differentials: A Reexamination Using Matched Worker-Firm Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 492-533, July.
  2. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Out Spousal Labor Supply?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 546-72, July.
  3. Marcello M. Estevão & Filipa Sa, 2006. "Are the French Happy with the 35-Hour Workweek?," IMF Working Papers 06/251, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Askenazy, Philippe, 2008. "A Primer on the 35-Hour in France, 1997–2007," IZA Discussion Papers 3402, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. H, Entorf & Michel Gollac & Francis Kramarz, 1997. "New Technologies, Wages and Worker Selection," Working Papers 97-25, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
  7. M Gelber, Alexander, 2011. "Taxation and the Earnings of Husbands and Wives: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2012:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  8. Gelber, Alexander, 2010. "Taxation and the Earnings of Husbands and Wives," MPRA Paper 20345, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Ziebarth N & Karlsson M, 2009. "The effects of expanding the generosity of the statutory sickness insurance system," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 09/35, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. Jungmin Lee & Daiji Kawaguchi & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2012. "Aggregate Impacts of a Gift of Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 612-16, May.
  3. Bassanini, Andrea & Caroli, Eve, 2014. "Is work bad for health? The role of constraint vs choice," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1402, CEPREMAP.
  4. Tominey, Emma, 2013. "Maternity Leave and the Responsiveness of Female Labor Supply to a Household Shock," IZA Discussion Papers 7462, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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.
  6. Bryan, Mark L. & Longhi, Simonetta, 2013. "Couples' Labour Supply Responses to Job Loss: Boom and Recession Compared," IZA Discussion Papers 7775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Daiji Kawaguchi & Jungmin Lee & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2012. "A Gift of Time," NBER Working Papers 18643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Emma Tominey, 2013. "Maternity Leave and the Responsiveness of Female Labor Supply to a Household Shock," Working Papers 2013-016, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  9. repec:ese:iserwp:2013-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Kawaguchi, Daiji & Lee, Jungmin, 2014. "Does Labor Legislation Benefit Workers? Well-Being after an Hours Reduction," IZA Discussion Papers 8077, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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