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Why do Europeans work part-time? A cross-country panel analysis

  • Buddelmeyer, Hielke
  • Mourre, Gilles
  • Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie

This empirical paper seeks to determine the relative contribution of the business cycle and structural factors to the development of part-time employment in the EU-15 countries over the 1980s and 1990s, exploiting a panel of EU countries. In the short-run, the business cycle is found to exert a short-term negative effect on part-time employment developments, which is consistent with firms utilising part-time work to adjust their labour force to changing economic conditions. Institutions and other structural factors such as changes in legislation affecting part-time employment are found to be key drivers of the rate of part-time employment, significant in the longer run. Overall, although the role of individual factors differs in the 1980s and 1990s, a contribution analysis considering the most significant factors shows that the main structural and institutional variables generally well explain the development in the part-time employment rate in the EU countries, which is not the case in the United States. JEL Classification: J21, J22, J28, J68

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0872.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20080872
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