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Patterns of Work Across the OECD

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  • Giulia Faggio
  • Stephen Nickell

Abstract

Market work per person of working age differs widely across the OECD countries and there have been some significant changes in the last forty years. How to explain this pattern? Taxes are part of the story but much remains to be explained. If we include all the elements of the social security systems like early retirement benefits, sickness and disability benefits and unemployment benefits, then we can capture some aspects of the overall pattern but still a lot remains unexplained. The story favoured by Alesina et al. (CEPR DP.5140, 2005) is that the nexus of strong unions, generous welfare and social democracy implies both high taxes and pressure in favour of work-sharing in response to adverse shocks. This story, however, falls foul of the simple fact that most Scandinavian countries now do much more work than the French and Germans despite having stronger unions, more generous welfare, higher taxes and more social democracy. Ultimately, we are forced into the position that there is no simple story. Some of the broad patterns can be explained but there remain country specific factors which are hard to identify but lead to substantial differences from one country to another.

Suggested Citation

  • Giulia Faggio & Stephen Nickell, 2006. "Patterns of Work Across the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0730, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0730
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dosi, G. & Pereira, M.C. & Roventini, A. & Virgillito, M.E., 2017. "When more flexibility yields more fragility: The microfoundations of Keynesian aggregate unemployment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 162-186.
    2. Bertinelli, Luisito & Cardi, Olivier & Sen, Partha, 2013. "Deregulation shock in product market and unemployment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 711-734.
    3. Angela Cipollone & Carlo D'Ippoliti, 2008. "Discriminating Factors of Women's Employment. Using Territorial Heterogeneity to Inform Policy," Quaderni DEF 145, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2010. "The power of the family," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 93-125, June.
    5. Sachiko Kuroda & Isamu Yamamoto, 2013. "Do Peers Affect Determination of Work Hours? Evidence Based on Unique Employee Data from Global Japanese Firms in Europe," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 359-388, September.
    6. Hansen, Jørgen Drud & Molana, Hassan & Montagna, Catia & Nielsen, Jørgen Ulff-Møller, 2012. "Work hours, social value of leisure and globalisation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 317-326.
    7. Riedl, Aleksandra & Rocha-Akis, Silvia, 2007. "Testing the tax competition theory: How elastic are national tax bases in western Europe?," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 860, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    8. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2008. "Employment Outcomes in the Welfare State," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 59(3), pages 413-436.
    9. Keith A. Bender & John Douglas Satun, 2009. "Constrained By Hours And Restricted In Wages: The Quality Of Matches In The Labor Market," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 512-529, July.
    10. Goerke, Laszlo & Hillesheim, Inga, 2013. "Relative consumption, working time, and trade unions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 170-179.
    11. Jose Emilio Boscá & Rafael Domenech & Javier Ferri, 2008. "Tax Reforms and Labour-market Performance: An Evaluation for Spain using REMS," Working Papers 0804, International Economics Institute, University of Valencia.
    12. repec:bla:kyklos:v:70:y:2017:i:2:p:163-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Emilio Congregado & Vicente Esteve & Antonio A. Golpe, 2012. "Job Creation and the Self-employed Firm Size: evidence from Spain," Working Papers 1202, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    14. Nicholas Crafts & Marco Magnani, 2011. "The Golden Age and the Second Globalization in Italy," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 17, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    15. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2017:n:406 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Laszlo Goerke & Sabrina Jeworrek & Markus Pannenberg, 2015. "Trade union membership and paid vacation in Germany," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-26, December.
    17. Tino Berger & Freddy Heylen, 2011. "Differences in Hours Worked in the OECD: Institutions or Fiscal Policies?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(7), pages 1333-1369, October.
    18. Oh, Seung-Yun & Park, Yongjin & Bowles, Samuel, 2012. "Veblen effects, political representation, and the reduction in working time over the 20th century," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 218-242.
    19. Congregado, Emilio & Golpe, Antonio A. & Carmona, Mónica, 2010. "Is it a good policy to promote self-employment for job creation? Evidence from Spain," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 828-842, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    work; working hours; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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