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Working-week flexibility: Implications for employment and productivity

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  • Osune, Victoria

Abstract

This paper evaluates the effects for the Spanish case of allowing greater flexibility regarding the weekly hours worked on the working week, employment and productivity. A baseline model economy is calibrated to reproduce the cross-sectional distribution of workweeks across plants, as well as certain features of the Spanish economy. The author compares the steady-state status quo, where a forty-hour workweek is imposed and no flexibility is allowed, and the steady-state of economies with a higher degree of flexibility in weekly hours. The 2012 reform is found to preserve employment and generate a 1.72% increase in productivity. In the work-sharing scenario, the increase in employment (1.86%) comes at the expense of a lower increase in productivity (1.31%). Finally, the full flexibility scenario preserves employment and generates a substantial increase in productivity (2.6%).

Suggested Citation

  • Osune, Victoria, 2014. "Working-week flexibility: Implications for employment and productivity," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-29.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:20147
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2014-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    2. Samuel Bentolila & Juan J. Dolado & Pierre Cahuc & Thomas Le Barbanchon, 2010. "Two-Tier Labor Markets in the Great Recession: France Vs. Spain," Working Papers wp2010_1009, CEMFI.
    3. Tito Boeri & J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, 2012. "The Political Economy Of Flexicurity," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 684-715, August.
    4. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
    5. Eva Ortega, "undated". "The Spanish business cycle and its relationship to Europe," Studies on the Spanish Economy 09, FEDEA.
    6. James Costain & Juan F. Jimeno & Carlos Thomas, 2010. "Employment fluctuations in a dual labour market," Economic Bulletin, Banco de España;Economic Bulletin Homepage, issue APR, April.
    7. Victoria Osuna & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Implementing the 35 Hour Workweek by Means of Overtime Taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 179-206, January.
    8. Prescott, Edward C. & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1992. "Classical competitive analysis of economies with Islands," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 73-98.
    9. Ignacio García Pérez, J. & Osuna, Victoria, 2014. "Dual labour markets and the tenure distribution: Reducing severance pay or introducing a single contract," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 1-13.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    FDI; Workweek; wages; employment; productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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