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The Myth of Worksharing

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  • Arie Kapteyn
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    Abstract

    Worksharing is considered by many as a promising public policy to reduce unemployment. In this paper we present a review of the most pertinent theoretical and empirical contributions to the literature on worksharing. In addition, we also provide new empirical evidence on this issue, by a cross country analysis exploiting aggregate data for 13 OECD countries. The conclusions of the literature survey are indecisive. Conclusions about the efficacy of worksharing as an employment enhancing policy tool depend heavily on the setting in which the analysis takes place. Our empirical analysis does not find any evidence for the proposition that worksharing would promote employment or reduce unemployment. In an appendix we present an overview of recent public policy experience of European Countries with respect to different forms of worksharing. Also here the evidence is mixed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 32.

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    Date of creation: 01 Oct 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:32

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    Keywords: employment; hours of work; panel data;

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    1. 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.
    2. Mary Gregory & Adriaan S. Kalwij, 2000. "Overtime Hours in Great Britain Over the Period 1975-1999: A Panel Data Analysis," Economics Series Working Papers 27, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Hart, R A & Sharot, T, 1978. "The Short-run Demand for Workers and Hours: A Recursive Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 299-309, June.
    4. Toedter, Karl-Heinz, 1988. "Effects of shorter hours on employment in disequilibrium models," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1319-1333, July.
    5. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Smith, Ron, 1995. "Estimating long-run relationships from dynamic heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 79-113, July.
    6. Arie Kapteyn & Klaas de Vos, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in The Netherlands," NBER Working Papers 6135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Kooreman, P. & Kapteyn, A.J., 1985. "The systems approach to household labor supply in the Netherlands," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-364326, Tilburg University.
    9. Calmfors, Lars & Hoel, Michael, 1988. " Work Sharing and Overtime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(1), pages 45-62.
    10. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, September.
    11. Calmfors, Lars, 1985. "Work sharing, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 293-309.
    12. Bekker, Paul A, 1994. "Alternative Approximations to the Distributions of Instrumental Variable Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 657-81, May.
    13. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
    14. Linda Bell & Richard Freeman, 1994. "Why Do Americans and Germans Work Different Hours?," NBER Working Papers 4808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Spanos,Aris, 1986. "Statistical Foundations of Econometric Modelling," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521269124, April.
    16. 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.
    17. Hunt, Jennifer, 1997. "Has Work Sharing Worked in Germany?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1553, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, September.
    19. Hoel, Michael & Vale, Bent, 1986. "Effects on unemployment of reduced working time in an economy where firms set wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1097-1104, October.
    20. Swamy, P A V B, 1970. "Efficient Inference in a Random Coefficient Regression Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 311-23, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Koch, Susanne, 2001. "Arbeitszeit und Beschäftigung im gesamtwirtschaftlichen Zusammenhang : Arbeitszeitfragen und ihre Behandlung in ökonomischen Modellen: Literaturüberblick und Forschungsperspektiven (Working time an," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 34(1), pages 28-44.

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