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Are the French Happy with the 35-Hour Workweek?

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Author Info

  • Estevão, Marcello

    ()
    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Sa, Filipa

    ()
    (King's College London)

Abstract

Legally mandated reductions in the workweek can be either a constraint on individuals’ choice or a tool to coordinate individuals’ preferences for lower work hours. We confront these two hypotheses by studying the consequences of the workweek reduction in France from 39 to 35 hours, which was first applied to large firms in 2000. Using the timing difference by firm size to set up a quasi-experiment and data from the French labor force survey, we show that the law constrained the choice of a significant number of individuals: dual-job holdings increased, some workers in large firms went to small firms where hours were not constrained, and others were replaced by cheaper, unemployed individuals as relative hourly wages increased in large firms. Employment of persons directly affected by the law declined, although the net effect on aggregate employment was not significant.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2459.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2459

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Keywords: welfare; job-sharing; coordination; workweek;

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References

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  1. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans Work so Much More than Europeans?," NBER Working Papers 10316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1998. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," NBER Working Papers 6670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2005. "Work and Leisure in the U.S. and Europe: Why So Different?," NBER Working Papers 11278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Olivier Blanchard, 2004. "The Economic Future of Europe," NBER Working Papers 10310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  7. Marie Leclair & Bruno Crépon & Sébastien Roux, 2004. "RTT, productivité et emploi : nouvelles estimations sur données d'entreprises," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 376(1), pages 55-89.
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Cited by:
  1. Henry Saffer & Karine Lamiraud, 2012. "The effect of hours of work on social interaction," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 237-258, June.
  2. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2011. "Worktime regulations and spousal labor supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 8666, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00255820 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00255820 is not listed on IDEAS

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