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Using Alsace-Moselle Local Laws to Build a Difference-in-Differences Estimation Strategy of the Employment Effects of the 35-Hour Workweek Regulation in France

Listed author(s):
  • Matthieu Chemin
  • Etienne Wasmer

France's 1998 implementation of the 35-hour workweek has been one of the greatest regulatory shocks on labor markets. Few studies evaluate the impact of this regulation because of a lack of identification strategies. For historical reasons due to the way Alsace-Moselle was returned to France in 1918, the implementation of France's 35-hour workweek was less stringent in that region than in the rest of the country, which is confirmed by double and triple differences. Yet it shows no significant difference in employment with the rest of France, which casts doubt on the effectiveness of this regulation. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 487-524

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:27:y:2009:i:4:p:487-524
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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  1. Jennifer Hunt, 1996. "Has Work-Sharing Worked in Germany?," NBER Working Papers 5724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
  3. Marimon, Ramon & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1999. "Employment and Distributional Effects of Restricting Working Time," CEPR Discussion Papers 2127, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Crépon, Bruno & Kramarz, Francis, 2000. "Employed 40 Hours or Not Employed 39: Lessons from the 1982 Mandatory Reduction of the Workweek," CEPR Discussion Papers 2358, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Ehrenberg, Ronald G., 1971. "Heterogeneous labor, the internal labor market, and the dynamics of the employment-hours decision," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 85-104, March.
  6. Calmfors, Lars & Hoel, Michael, 1988. " Work Sharing and Overtime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(1), pages 45-62.
  7. Boeri, Tito & Burda, Michael & Kramarz, Francis (ed.), 2008. "Working Hours and Job Sharing in the EU and USA: Are Europeans Lazy? Or Americans Crazy?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199231027, December.
  8. Estevão, Marcello & Sa, Filipa, 2006. "Are the French Happy with the 35-Hour Workweek?," IZA Discussion Papers 2459, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May.
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