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Le temps et l'argent : les 35 heures en douceur

Listed author(s):
  • Gérard Cornilleau
  • Eric Heyer
  • Xavier Timbeau

[eng] Towards 35 hours in France. Gérard Comilleau, Eric Heyer, Xavier Timbeau. The decision of the French government to reduce the legal duration of working week to 35 hours, by January 2000, put forward the work-sharing wage-sharing scheme to fight unemployment. The governement's proposal include financial incentives so that low-wage firms can compensate, by an increase of hourly wage rates, the potential reduction in monthly earnings of their employees, without any increase in production costs. In all other situations, firms would only, partially compensate earnings cuts. Though, the effect of lower hiring wages and freeze of insider's wages, would limit the cost for employees. If the results of the negotiations between employers and employees, are such that production costs are not increased by the reduction of hours, and if it applies to the employees of firms with more than 20 employees in the private sector, the « 35 hours policy » could allow an increase in employment of 450 000 at the beginning of 2001. This would be good result, taking into account that it could be achieved without degradation of the macroeconomic equilibrium. But, it's a limited result compared with the one who could be reached with more extended work-sharing wage-sharing process, applying to the whole economy, which would have much more significant impact on employment. [fre] Avec le projet de loi sur les 35 heures, le gouvernement a fait du partage du travail l'axe de sa politique de lutte contre le chômage. Pour préparer la baisse de la durée légale du travail le 1er janvier 2000, il a mis en place un système d'aide dont nous avons analysé les effets microéconomiques. Celui-ci autorise les entreprises à bas salaires à accorder une compensation salariale intégrale à leurs salariés à condition qu'elles réalisent le passage aux 35 heures dès l'année 1998. Dans tous les autres cas, la compensation ne peut être que partielle, même si le jeu des embauches nouvelles ou le gel des salaires permettent de limiter le coût des 35 heures pour les salariés. En supposant que les négociations aboutissent à un équilibre qui préserve le niveau des coûts de production des entreprises et que le champ de la réduction du temps de travail reste limité aux salariés des entreprises de plus de vingt salariés du secteur privé, les 35 heures permettraient de créer 450 000 emplois supplémentaires à l'horizon 2000. Il s'agit d'un résultat appréciable si l'on tient compte de ce qu'il pourrait être obtenu sans dégradation de l'équilibre macroéconomique, mais en retrait par rapport à ce qui pourrait résulter d'un partage généralisé du travail et des revenus s'appliquant à l'ensemble des actifs.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): 64 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 17-68

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Handle: RePEc:prs:rvofce:ofce_0751-6614_1998_num_64_1_1484
Note: DOI:10.3406/ofce.1998.1484
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  1. Equipe MIMOSA & Henri Sterdyniak & Emmanuel Fourmann & Frédéric Lerais & Henri Delessy & Frédéric Busson, 1994. "Lutter contre le chômage de masse en Europe," Revue de l'OFCE, Programme National Persée, vol. 48(1), pages 177-236.
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