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Is Short-time Work a Good Method to Keep Unemployment Down?

  • Cahuc, Pierre
  • Carcillo, Stéphane

Short-time work compensation aims at reducing lay-offs by allowing employers to temporarily reduce hours worked while compensating workers for the induced loss of income. These programs are now widespread in the OECD countries, notably following the 2008-2009 crisis. This paper discusses the efficiency of this type of policy and investigates its impact on unemployment and employment. There is some evidence that short-time compensation programs stabilize permanent employment and reduce unemployment during downturns. All in all, it seems that short-time work programs used in the recent downturn had significant beneficial effects. This suggests that countries which do not have short-time compensation programs could benefit from their introduction. But short-time compensation programs can also induce inefficient reductions in working hours and reduce the prospects of outsiders if used too intensively. Thus, the design of short-time compensation programs should include an experience-rating component.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8214.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8214
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  1. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2003. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," CESifo Working Paper Series 922, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2008. "Optimum income taxation and layoff taxes," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00255794, HAL.
  3. Quentin David & Alexandre Janiak & Etienne Wasmer, 2009. "Local social capital and geographical mobility," CREA Discussion Paper Series 09-11, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  4. Burdett, Kenneth & Wright, Randall, 1989. "Unemployment Insurance and Short-Time Compensation: The Effects on Layoffs, Hours per Worker, and Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1479-96, December.
  5. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1993. "Does Employment Protection Inhibit Labor Market Flexibility? Lessons from Germany, France, and Belgium," NBER Working Papers 4390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alesina, Alberto F & Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre & Giuliano, Paola, 2010. "Family Values and the Regulation of Labor," CEPR Discussion Papers 7688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Calavrezo, Oana & Duhautois, Richard & Walkowiak, Emmanuelle, 2010. "Short-Time Compensation and Establishment Exit: An Empirical Analysis with French Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4989, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Van Audenrode, Marc A, 1994. "Short-Time Compensation: Job Security, and Employment Contracts: Evidence from Selected OECD Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 76-102, February.
  9. Alexander Hijzen & Danielle Venn, 2011. "The Role of Short-Time Work Schemes during the 2008-09 Recession," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 115, OECD Publishing.
  10. repec:dlw:wpaper:09-10. is not listed on IDEAS
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