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Implementing the 35 Hour Workweek by Means of Overtime Taxation

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Abstract

In this paper we study the implications of taxing overtime work in order to reduce the workweek. To this purpose we study the roles played by team work, commuting costs and idiosyncratic output risk in determining the choice of the workweek. In order to obtain reliable estimates of the consequences of our policy experiment, we calibrate our model economy to the substitutability between overtime and employment using business cycle information. We find that a tax-rate of 12% of overtime wages implements the desired reduction of the workweek from 40 to 35 hours (12.5%). We also find that this tax change increases employment by 7% and reduces output and productivity by 10.2% and 4.2%, respectively. We also study a model economy with cross-sectional variations in the workweek that arise from plant-specific output risk and we find that in this model economy the tax-rates needed to achieve the same workweek reduction are significantly larger. Finally, we find that taxing overtime dampens business cycle fluctuations and that its welfare costs seem to be very large

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  • Victoria Osuna Padilla & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2002. "Implementing the 35 Hour Workweek by Means of Overtime Taxation," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2002/04, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  • Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2002_04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Edward C. Prescott & Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2009. "Lifetime Aggregate Labor Supply with Endogenous Workweek Length," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 23-36, January.
    2. Lonnie Golden & Stuart Glosser, 2013. "Work sharing as a potential policy tool for creating more and better employment: A review of the evidence," Chapters,in: Work Sharing during the Great Recession, chapter 7, pages 203-258 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Ohanian, Lee E., 2009. "What - or who - started the great depression?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2310-2335, November.
    4. Erosa, Andrés & Fuster, Luisa & Kambourov, Gueorgui, 2012. "Labor supply and government programs: A cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 84-107.
    5. Osuna Victoria, 2009. "Taxing Overtime or Subsidizing Employment," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-28, October.
    6. Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Non-convexities in quantitative general equilibrium studies of business cycles," Staff Report 312, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    7. Willington, Manuel & Navarro, Lucas, 2015. "Work hours regulation in a search economy with adverse selection," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 46-48.
    8. Antonio García Sánchez & María del Mar Vázquez Méndez, 2005. "The timing of work in a general equilibrium model with shiftwork," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 29(1), pages 149-179, January.
    9. Antonio Morales & Pablo Brañas Garza, 2003. "Computational Errors in Guessing Games1," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2003/11, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    10. Alexander Ueberfeldt, 2006. "Working Time over the 20th Century," Staff Working Papers 06-18, Bank of Canada.
    11. Prescott, Edward C. & Shell, Karl, 2002. "Introduction to Sunspots and Lotteries," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 1-10, November.
    12. Fabrice Gilles, 2015. "Evaluating the Impact of a Working Time Regulation on Capital Operating Time: The French 35-hour Work Week Experience," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 62(2), pages 117-148, May.
    13. Victoria Osuna, 2009. "Should we tax overtime, subsidize the wage or subsidize employment?," Working Papers 09.03, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    14. Díaz, Antonia & Echevarria, Cristina, 2009. "Why a fixed workweek?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 790-798, October.
    15. Andrés Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2016. "Towards a Micro-Founded Theory of Aggregate Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 1001-1039.
    16. Michael Kuklik & Nikita Cespedes, 2013. "Optimal Taxation and Life Cycle Labor Supply Profile," Documentos de Trabajo / Working Papers 2013-352, Departamento de Economía - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
    17. 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.
    18. Hansen, G.D. & Ohanian, L.E., 2016. "Neoclassical Models in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Workweek; Overtime; 35 Hours week; Labour Policy;

    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
    • 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
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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