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Loosening hours constraints on the supply of labor: what if Germans had a Dutch labor market?

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  • Wolf, Elke
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    Abstract

    Total employment in Germany is supposed to increase if people could realize their desired working hours. However, this back-of-the-envelope calculation overestimates the effect of loosening hours constraints, because even in a very flexible labor market there will exist hours restrictions for certain jobs and occupations. Therefore, I simulate Germans' working hours in a more flexible but real world, namely the Dutch labor market. The results indicate that the average weekly working hours of German employees would indeed decrease if they had a Dutch Labor market. Thus, there exists some potential for additional work-sharing in Germany. Furthermore, the match between actual and desired hours of Germans would improve if Germans faced the same hours flexibility as Dutch employees. This holds both for men and for women. Another piece of good news is that hours restrictions shrank over time, which means, Germany seems to be moving towards a more flexible labor market. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 00-54.

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    Date of creation: 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5338

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    1. Kapteyn, A. & Kalwij, A. & Zaidi, A., 2000. "The Myth of Worksharing," Economics Series Working Papers 9932, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. William T. Dickens & Shelly J. Lundberg, 1985. "Hours Restrictions and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 1638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jennifer Hunt, 1996. "Has Work-Sharing Worked in Germany?," NBER Working Papers 5724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Steve Nickell & Jan van Ours, 2000. "The Netherlands and the United Kingdom: a European unemployment miracle?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 135-180, 04.
    5. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-80, June.
    6. Bauer, Thomas K. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Overtime Work and Overtime Compensation in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 48, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Bell, D. & Hart, R.A., 1998. "Unpaid Work," Working Papers Series 9803, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
      • Bell, David N F & Hart, Robert A, 1999. "Unpaid Work," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 271-90, May.
    8. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
    9. Alessie, Rob & Kapteyn, Arie, 1991. "Habit Formation, Interdependent References and Demographic Effects in the Almost Ideal Demand System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(406), pages 404-19, May.
    10. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1989. "The Wage Curve," NBER Working Papers 3181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Konig, Heinz & Pohlmeier, Winfried, 1988. "Employment, Labour Utilization and Procyclical Labour Productivity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 551-72.
    12. Wolf, Elke, 2000. "Lower wages for less hours? A simultaneous wage-hours model for Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-03, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    13. Aaberge, R. & Colombino, U. & Strom, S., 1997. "Joint Labor Supply Decisions of Married Females and Males: An Empirical Analysis Based on Italian Household Data," Memorandum 18/1997, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    14. Wolf, Elke, 1998. "Do hours restrictions matter? A discrete family labor supply model with endogenous wages and hours restrictions," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-44, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    15. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 1999. "The consequences of labour market flexibility: Panel evidence based on survey data," ZEI Working Papers B 02-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
    16. Euwals, Rob & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "Desired and actual labour supply of unmarried men and women in the Netherlands," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-118, March.
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    18. Ilmakunnas, Seija & Pudney, Stephen, 1990. "A model of female labour supply in the presence of hours restrictions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 183-210, March.
    19. Martijn P. Tummers & Isolde Woittiez, 1991. "A Simultaneous Wage and Labor Supply Model with Hours Restrictions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 393-423.
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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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