Has Work Sharing Worked in Germany?
AbstractStarting in 1985, (West) German unions began to reduce standard hours on an industry-by-industry basis in an attempt to lower unemployment. Whether ‘work-sharing’ works – whether employment rises when hours per worker are reduced – is theoretically ambiguous. I test this using both individual data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and industry data to exploit the cross-section and time-series hours variation. For the 1984–9 period, I find that, in response to a one-hour fall in standard hours, employment rose by 0.3–0.7%, but that total hours worked fell by 2–3%, implying possible output losses. As a group, however, workers were better off as the wage bill rose. The employment growth implied by the mean standard hours decline, at most 1.1%, was not enough to bring German employment growth close to the US rate. Results for the 1990–94 period were more pessimistic.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1553.
Date of creation: Jan 1997
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Other versions of this item:
- J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
- J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
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- Hunt, Jennifer, 1996.
"The Response of Wages and Actual Hours Worked to the Reduction of Standard Hours in Germany,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1526, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Is work sharing an answer for high unemployment?
by James Pethokoukis in AEIdeas on 2012-06-13 15:15:00
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