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The effects of working time reductions on wages, actual hours and equilibrium unemployment

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  • Nordström Skans, Oskar

    ()
    (IFAU - Office of Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

Abstract

This paper extends a general equilibrium model of unemployment and working hours and evaluates the model on a 5 percent working time reduction for shift workers in Sweden. Panel data from firms' payroll records are used to examine the relationship between standard hours, actual hours and hourly wages. The main results are: i) Actual hours only decreased by 40 percent of the reduction in standard hours. ii) Hourly wages for shift workers rose relative to wages for daytime workers. iii) The wage increase was more pronounced for workers who received a larger reduction of actual hours. The conclusion is that working time reductions that allow for discretion on lower levels of bargaining do not necessarily reduce actual hours. Furthermore, working time reductions may result in an increase in wage pressure, causing unemployment to rise.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2001:8.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 12 Jul 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Labour Economics, 2004, pages 647-665.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2001_008

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Postal: IFAU, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: (+46) 18 - 471 70 70
Fax: (+46) 18 - 471 70 71
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Web page: http://www.ifau.se/
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Related research

Keywords: Work sharing; working hours; unemployment; wage pressure;

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References

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  1. Calmfors, Lars & Hoel, Michael, 1988. " Work Sharing and Overtime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(1), pages 45-62.
  2. Holmlund, B., 2000. "Labor Taxation in Search Equilibrium with Home Production," Papers 2000:1, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  3. Aigner, Dennis J., 1973. "Regression with a binary independent variable subject to errors of observation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 49-59, March.
  4. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345.
  5. Marimon, R. & Zilibotti, F., 1999. "Employment and Distributional Effects of Restricting Working Time," Economics Working Papers eco99/19, European University Institute.
  6. Calmfors, Lars & Hoel, Michael, 1989. "Work Sharing, Employment and Shiftwork," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 758-73, October.
  7. Hunt, Jennifer, 1997. "Has Work Sharing Worked in Germany?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1553, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  9. Kapteyn, Arie & Kalwij, Adriaan & Zaidi, Asghar, 2000. "The Myth of Worksharing," IZA Discussion Papers 188, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Tor Jacobson & Henry Ohlsson, 2000. "Working time, employment, and work sharing: Evidence from Sweden," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 169-187.
  11. Jennifer Hunt, 1998. "Hours Reductions as Work-Sharing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 339-381.
  12. Booth, Alison & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Employment and Length of the Working Week in a Unionized Economy in which Hours of Work Influence Productivity," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 69(207), pages 428-36, December.
  13. Petersen, Trond & Meyerson, Eva & Snartland, Vemund, 1996. "The Within-Job Gender Wage Gap: The Case of Sweden," Working Paper Series 470, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  14. Earle, John S & Pencavel, John, 1990. "Hours of Work and Trade Unionism," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S150-74, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Alexius, Annika & Carlsson, Mikael, 2001. "Measures of Technology and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Sweden and the U.S," Working Paper Series 174, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.

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