IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Réduction du temps de travail et emploi : quelques leçons du passage aux 39 heures de 1982


  • Bruno Crépon
  • Francis Kramarz


[fre] Nous utilisons des données longitudinales sur l'emploi, les salaires et les heures de travail afin d'examiner les effets de la réduction obligatoire de la durée du travail hebdomadaire intervenue en 1981 en France. Quelques mois après l'élection de François Mitterrand en mai 1981, le gouvernement, en application de son programme, décida tout d'abord d'augmenter le salaire minimum de 5 %, puis de réduire la durée hebdomadaire du travail — tout en maintenant, et ceci de manière obligatoire, la rémunération mensuelle des travailleurs payés au salaire minimum et en recommandant fortement la stabilité des gains mensuels pour les autres travailleurs (recommandation suivie d'effets pour 90 % des entreprises). Nous montrons que les travailleurs directement affectés par ces changements, c'est-à-dire ceux travaillant 40 heures en mars 1981, ont perdu leur emploi entre 1981 et 1983 plus souvent que les travailleurs non affectés directement par ces changements, c'est-à-dire ceux tra- vaillant 39 heures en mars 1981 ; la probabilité de perdre son emploi passant de 10 % à 12,5 % pour les premiers. En outre, les travailleurs affectés à la fois par les changements du salaire minimum et la réduction de la durée hebdomadaire de travail ont été encore plus durablement touchés ; leur taux de transition emploi- non emploi a crû de 10 % à 23 %. Ces résultats devraient nous permettre de comprendre les effets possibles de la réduction de la durée hebdomadaire de travail à venir — durée passant de 39 à 35 heures — en l'an 2000 en France. Des projets similaires sont à l'étude dans d'autres pays européens dans l'espoir que de telles mesures de réduction forcée des heures permettront de lutter efficacement contre le chômage. [eng] We use longitudinal individual wage, hours, and employment data to investigate the effect of the 1981 mandatory reduction of weekly working hours in France. A few months after François Mitterrand's election of May 1981, the government, applying its programme decided first to increase the minimum wage by 5% and, second, to reduce weekly working hours — from 40 to 39 — together with mandatory stability of monthly earnings of minimum wage workers and strong recommendation for stability of monthly earnings for other workers (indeed, followed by 90% of the firms). We show that workers directly affected by these changes, those working 40 hours in March 1981, lost their jobs between 1981 and 1983 more often than workers not affected by the changes, those working 39 hours in March 1981; their year-to-year job loss probability increased from roughly 10% to 12.5%. Moreover, workers affected by both minimum wage changes and hours reduction were even more strongly hit ; their year-to-year job loss probability increased from roughly 10% to 23%. These results should help us understand the possible effects of the forthcoming mandatory reduction of hours in France, the weekly working hours going from 39 to 35 hours in year 2000. Similar projects are envisaged in other European countries hoping that hours reduction are an efficient way of tackling their unemployment problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Crépon & Francis Kramarz, 1999. "Réduction du temps de travail et emploi : quelques leçons du passage aux 39 heures de 1982," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 14(1), pages 3-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:rfreco:rfeco_0769-0479_1999_num_14_1_1072
    Note: DOI:10.3406/rfeco.1999.1072

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicholas Economides & Giuseppe Lopomo & Glenn Woroch, 1997. "Strategic Commitments and the Principle of Reciprocity in Interconnection Pricing," Industrial Organization 9701001, EconWPA.
    2. Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
    3. Nicholas Economides, 1997. "The Economics of Networks," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, vol. 1(0), December.
    4. Armstrong, Mark & Doyle, Chris & Vickers, John, 1996. "The Access Pricing Problem: A Synthesis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 131-150, June.
    5. Brown,Stephen J. & Sibley,David Sumner, 1986. "The Theory of Public Utility Pricing," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521314008, May.
    6. Nicholas Economides & William Lehr, 1994. "The Quality of Complex Systems and Industry Structure," Working Papers 94-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    7. Economides, Nicholas & White, Lawrence J., 1994. "Networks and compatibility: Implications for antitrust," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 651-662, April.
    8. Andrei Shleifer, 1985. "A Theory of Yardstick Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(3), pages 319-327, Autumn.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:prs:rfreco:rfeco_0769-0479_1999_num_14_1_1072. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Equipe PERSEE). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.