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Trends in Working Hours in OECD Countries


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  • John M. Evans
  • Douglas C. Lippoldt
  • Pascal Marianna


In recent years, the decline in average annual hours of work per person in employment, which can be traced back for over a century, has slowed. In some countries, there has even been an increase in the average annual hours per person employed. In countries where continuing falls can be observed, this can be traced to legal action (for example, France, Japan and Portugal) or to particularly vigorous negotiation between the social partners (for example, Germany and the Netherlands). The United States and Sweden both show an increase in average annual hours, in the first case due partly to an increase in overtime hours, in the second to an increase in the hours worked by part-time workers. For the European countries, the paper shows how the pattern of change in weekly working hours can be linked, inter alia , to the institutional arrangements applying in the different countries. Part-time working has both exerted downward pressure on average working hours and been an important ... Entamée depuis plus d’un siècle, la baisse du temps de travail annuel par personne disposant d’un emploi s’est ralentie depuis quelques années, et s’est même inversée dans certains pays. Dans ceux où elle se poursuit, c’est suite à une action du législateur (France, Japon, Portugal) ou à des négociations vigoureuses entre les partenaires sociaux (Allemagne et Pays-Bas). Les États-Unis et la Suède enregistrent l’un comme l’autre une augmentation de la durée annuelle moyenne du travail. Dans le premier cas, c’est en partie dû à une progression des heures supplémentaires, dans le second, à un accroissement de la durée moyenne du travail à temps partiel. Pour les pays européens, cet article montre que l’évolution de la durée de travail hebdomadaire peut être reliée aux dispositifs institutionnels applicables à l’échelon national. Le temps partiel est responsable d’une baisse de la durée moyenne du travail et constitue une source majeure de création d’emplois dans la plupart des pays ...

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers with number 45.

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Date of creation: 30 Mar 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaaa:45-en

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Cited by:
  1. Etile, Fabrice, 2014. "Education policies and health inequalities: Evidence from changes in the distribution of Body Mass Index in France, 1981–2003," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 46-65.
  2. Siv Gustafsson & Eiko Kenjoh & Cecile Wetzels, 2001. "Employment Choices and Pay Differences between Non-Standard and Standard Work in Britain, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-086/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Wolf, Elke, 2002. "Lower wage rates for fewer hours? A simultaneous wage-hours model for Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 643-663, November.
  4. L. Deidda & F. Cerina, 2002. "Do we need more time for leisure?," Working Paper CRENoS 200203, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  5. Matteo Cervellati & Joan Mª Esteban & Laurence Kranich, 2005. "Redistributive Taxation with Endogenous Sentiments," Working Papers 254, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Ignace Glorieux & Joeri Minnen & Theun Tienoven, 2011. "Spouse “Together Time”: Quality Time Within the Household," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 101(2), pages 281-287, April.
  7. Siv Gustafsson & Eiko Kenjoh & Cecile Wetzels, 2001. "Employment Choices and Pay Differences between Non-Standard and Standard Work in Britain, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-086/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Petri Böckerman & Jaakko Kiander, 2002. "Determination of Average Working Time in Finland," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 16(3), pages 557-568, 09.
  9. Philippe Askenazy, 2004. "Shorter Work Time, Hours Flexibility, and Labor Intensification," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 603-614, Fall.
  10. Heywood, John S. & Siebert, W. Stanley & Wei, Xiangdong, 2005. "High Performance Workplaces and Family Friendly Practices: Promises Made and Promises Kept," IZA Discussion Papers 1812, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Kessing, Sebastian G. & Konrad, Kai A., 2005. "Union strategy and optimal income taxation," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2005-04, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  12. Maike Andresen & Michel Domsch & Annett Cascorbi, 2007. "Working Unusual Hours and Its Relationship to Job Satisfaction: A Study of European Maritime Pilots," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 714-734, September.
  13. Baek, Ehung Gi & Oh, Wankeun, 2004. "The short-run production effect of the reduction of working hours," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 123-144, January.


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