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Critical Analysis of Some Well-Intended Proposals to Fight Unemployment

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  • Gebhard Kirchgässner

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Abstract

In this paper it is asked whether it is meaningful to state a ‘right to work’ as a basic human right to be written down in the constitution, for example, whether working time should generally be reduced, and whether those who do not have (or find) a job should get a guaranteed minimal income. All three demands have to be rejected, at least in the radical form in which they are often stated. They cannot be realised at all or at least not without impairing other basic human rights. Finally, it is asked what can be retained from these (usually well-intended) demands.

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File URL: http://www1.vwa.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/dp2009/DP-0917-Ki.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen in its series University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2009 with number 2009-17.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2009:2009-17

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Keywords: Unemployment; Right to Work; Working Time; Negative Income Tax; Basic Income;

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References

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  1. Bosch, Gerhard & Lehndorff, Steffen, 2001. "Working-Time Reduction and Employment: Experiences in Europe and Economic Policy Recommendations," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 209-43, March.
  2. Crépon, Bruno & Kramarz, Francis, 2002. "Employed 40 Hours or Not-Employed 39: Lessons from the 1982 Mandatory Reduction of the Workweek," IZA Discussion Papers 416, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Olivier Blanchard, 2006. "European unemployment: the evolution of facts and ideas," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 21(45), pages 5-59, 01.
  4. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "The Negative Income Tax and the Evolution of U.S. Welfare Policy," NBER Working Papers 9751, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Huang, Chun-chieh, et al, 2002. "Worker Productivity, Working Time Reduction, and the Short-Run and Long-Run Employment Effects," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(4), pages 357-68, September.
  7. Kapteyn, Arie & Kalwij, Adriaan & Zaidi, Asghar, 2004. "The myth of worksharing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 293-313, June.
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  13. Ronnie Schöb und Joachim Weimann & Joachim Weimann, 2003. "Kombilohn: Die Magdeburger Alternative," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(1), pages 1-17, 02.
  14. Marimon, R. & Zilibotti, F., 1999. "Employment and Distributional Effects of Restricting Working Time," Economics Working Papers eco99/19, European University Institute.
  15. Jennifer Hunt, 1999. "Has Work-Sharing Worked In Germany?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 117-148, February.
  16. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  17. Norbert Berthold, 2001. "Das Bündnis für Arbeit - Ein Weg aus der institutionellen Verflechtungsfalle?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 2(4), pages 383-406, November.
  18. Risse, Mathias, 2007. "A Right to Work? A Right to Holidays with Pay? Labor Rights as Human Rights," Working Paper Series rwp07-058, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  19. Skans, Oskar Nordstrom, 2004. "The impact of working-time reductions on actual hours and wages: evidence from Swedish register-data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 647-665, October.
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  22. Harvey Philip L., 2006. "The Relative Cost of a Universal Basic Income and a Negative Income Tax," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-24, December.
  23. Emin M. Dinlersoz & Rubén Hernández-Murillo, 2002. "Did "right-to-work" work for Idaho?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 29-42.
  24. Howell David R. & Baker Dean & Glyn Andrew & Schmitt John, 2007. "Are Protective Labor Market Institutions at the Root of Unemployment? A Critical Review of the Evidence," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-73, May.
  25. Widerquist, Karl, 2005. "A failure to communicate: what (if anything) can we learn from the negative income tax experiments?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 49-81, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Habermacher, Florian & Kirchgässner, Gebhard, 2013. "Das garantierte Grundeinkommen: Eine (leider) nicht bezahlbare Idee," Economics Working Paper Series 1313, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, revised Aug 2013.

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