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Longer Working Hours? More Flexible Work Schedules? Do Austrian Economic Policymakers Need to Act?



On September 23, 2004, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) hosted a workshop to discuss extending working hours and increasing working time flexibility. After Peter Mooslechner (OeNB) outlined the development of the present discussion in the media and presented some facts, the participants delivered their statements. Erhard Fu‹rst (Federation of Austrian Industry and Austria perspektiv) called for more flexibility rather than for an extension of working hours. He supported this view by pointing to the rising competitive pressure on enterprises. Sepp Zuckersta‹tter (Chamber of Labor) opposed lengthening working hours, because this would reduce employment and decrease aggregate demand. In his opinion the current regulations are sufficient. Herbert Walther (Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration) explained that in theoretical models the impact of more flexible working hours on employment is uncertain. Moreover, no connection between the degree of flexibility and key labor market indicators could be established. In the weeks and months preceding the workshop the media reported calls for the extension of standard working hours and more flexible working hours in enterprises.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfred Stiglbauer, 2004. "Longer Working Hours? More Flexible Work Schedules? Do Austrian Economic Policymakers Need to Act?," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 81-86.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbmp:y:2004:i:4:b:8

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