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Working Time Flexibility in the German Employment Relations System: Implications for Germany and Lessons for the United States

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  • Peter Berg

Abstract

Competitive conditions are leading to much experimentation within and decentralization of the German employment relations system. In this aritcle, I show how flexible working time is an integral part of the German employment relations system and how flexible working time arrangements are contributing to its transformation. In addition, I discuss the implications for employers and employees of flexible working time, and the lessons the German experience with flexible working time has for the United States. Flexible working time contributes to the decentralization of German employment relations on multiple levels, particularly within the enterprise. The benefits to employers of flexible working time take many forms and are generally positive, whereas the implications for employees are more mixed. The main lesson for the United States is that labor market insitutions still matter in developing flexible working time models that can meet both employer and employee needs.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Berg, 2008. "Working Time Flexibility in the German Employment Relations System: Implications for Germany and Lessons for the United States," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 15(2), pages 111-132.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:indbez:doi_10.1688/1862-0035_indb_2008_02_berg
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    Cited by:

    1. Zapf, Ines, 2015. "Who profits from working-time accounts? : empirical evidence on the determinants of working-time accounts on the employers' and employees' side," IAB Discussion Paper 201523, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Eichhorst, Werner & Marx, Paul, 2009. "Reforming German Labor Market Institutions: A Dual Path to Flexibility," IZA Discussion Papers 4100, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Flexible Working Time; German Employment Relations; Decentralization; Pacts for Employment and Competitiveness; Working Time Accounts;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation

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