Working-week flexibility: Implications for employment and productivity
AbstractThis paper evaluates the implications for employment, productivity and wages of allowing for more flexibility in weekly hours worked introduced in the recent Spanish labour market reform (the 2012 reform). A crucial aspect of the model will be the extent to which firms will be able to choose the workweek when subject to demand shocks. The model is calibrated so that it reproduces the cross-sectional distribution of workweeks across plants and households and some features of the Spanish economy. The author compares the status quo steady-state, where a 40 hour workweek is imposed and no flexibility is allowed, with the steady state of economies with a higher degree of flexibility in weekly hours: the 2012 Reform, the Work sharing and the Full flexibility scenarios. She finds that the 2012 reform preserves employment and generates a 1.72% increase in productivity. In the work sharing scenario, the increase in employment (1.86%) comes at the expense of a lower productivity increase (1.31%) and a decrease in weekly hours worked (4%). Finally, the full flexibility scenario preserves employment and generates a substantial increase in productivity (2.6%) by allowing firms to completely adapt to changing economic conditions, by expanding or contracting the working week. --
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2013-27.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
workweek; wages; employment; productivity;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution
- E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
- J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-04-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2013-04-20 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LMA-2013-04-20 (Labor Markets - Supply, Demand, & Wages)
- NEP-MAC-2013-04-20 (Macroeconomics)
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