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Czech Kurzarbeit: First Evidence from the First Pandemic Wave


  • Stepan Jurajda

    (CERGE-EI, Prague, Czech Republic)

  • Pavla Dolezelova

    (TREXIMA, Czech Republic)


We relate the firm-type structure of support from the main Czech kurzarbeit (short-work) program Antivirus B during the spring of 2020 to the structure of the economy and to the structure of demand shocks approximated by declining hours worked. Evidence based on the Structure of Earnings Survey implies large participation gaps in favor of large employers, and disproportionately high intensity of use of the program by manufacturing companies, in particular those exhibiting declining wage bills already prior to the pandemic. Compared to other industries, manufacturing is thus able to ‘cover’ by kurzarbeit support the largest share of the decline in hours worked between the 2nd quarters of 2019 and 2020, with the exception of the hospitality and culture industries, which were most powerfully affected by pandemic lockdowns. Our analysis illustrates simple statistics available for real-time monitoring of kurzarbeit policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Stepan Jurajda & Pavla Dolezelova, 2021. "Czech Kurzarbeit: First Evidence from the First Pandemic Wave," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 71(1), pages 2-32, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:fauart:v:71:y:2021:i:1:p:2-32

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    More about this item


    kurzarbeit; short-time work; program participation; demand shocks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings


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