IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ecb/ecbops/200541.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trends and patterns in working time across euro area countries 1970-2004: causes and consequences

Author

Listed:
  • Leiner-Killinger, Nadine
  • Madaschi, Christophe
  • Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie

Abstract

This paper analyses trends in working time in the euro area, in comparison with the US, over the period 1970 to 2004 and examines the causes and consequences of the observed changes. Between 1970 and 2004, a downward trend in average annual hours worked per worker can be observed for the euro area as a whole, all individual euro area countries and the United States. In contrast to the US, the euro area and a number of euro area countries also experienced a significant decline in annual hours worked per capita ("labour utilisation") over the last three decades. Data reveal important disparities across countries - both in trends and levels. While some countries managed to reverse their downward trends in labour utilisation in the 1980s and 1990s, the level of average hours worked per capita in 2004 remained significantly below their 1970 levels for all euro area countries for which data are available. From a policy perspective, falling annual average hours worked per worker or per capita are not a problem per se, if they reflect preferences. For example, increasing shares of voluntary part-time employment across many euro area countries, whilst increasing European employment rates, have contributed to the downward trend in average annual hours per worker. However, to the extent that low working hours are due to institutional features which create disincentives to work, such as high tax wedges and high unemployment benefits, or enforced reductions in working hours, these factors should be addressed. JEL Classification: J3, J22, J24, E24, D02

Suggested Citation

  • Leiner-Killinger, Nadine & Madaschi, Christophe & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie, 2005. "Trends and patterns in working time across euro area countries 1970-2004: causes and consequences," Occasional Paper Series 41, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:200541
    Note: 564550
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.ecb.europa.eu//pub/pdf/scpops/ecbocp41.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    annual hours of work; labour utilisation; per capita income; productivity; working time;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:200541. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Official Publications). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/emieude.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.