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Work-sharing for a sustainable economy

Listed author(s):
  • Zwickl, Klara
  • Disslbacher, Franziska
  • Stagl, Sigrid
Registered author(s):

    Achieving low unemployment in an environment of weak growth is a major policy challenge; a more egalitarian distribution of hours worked could be the key to solving it. Whether work-sharing actually increases employment, however, has been debated controversially. In this article we present stylized facts on the distribution of hours worked and discuss the role of work-sharing for a sustainable economy. Building on recent developments in labor market theory we review the determinants of working long hours and its effect on well-being. Finally, we survey work-sharing reforms in the past. While there seems to be a consensus that work-sharing in the Great Depression in the U.S. and in the Great Recession in Europe was successful in reducing employment losses, perceptions of the work-sharing reforms implemented between the 1980s and early 2000s are more ambivalent. However, even the most critical evaluations of these reforms provide no credible evidence of negative employment effects; instead, the overall success of the policy seems to depend on the economic and institutional setting, as well as the specific details of its implementation.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800915002414
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 121 (2016)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 246-253

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:121:y:2016:i:c:p:246-253
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.06.009
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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