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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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  1. Rob Euwals & Maurice Hogerbrugge, 2004. "Explaining the growth of part-time employment; factors of supply and demand," CPB Discussion Paper 31, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
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  7. Stephen Millard & Andrew Scott & Marianne Sensier, 1999. "Business cycles and the labour market can theory fit the facts?," Bank of England working papers 93, Bank of England.
  8. Buddelmeyer, Hielke & Mourre, Gilles & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2005. "Part-Time Work in EU Countries: Labour Market Mobility, Entry and Exit," IZA Discussion Papers 1550, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Belot, Michèle & van Ours, Jan C, 2000. "Does the Recent Success of some OECD Countries in Lowering their Unemployment Rates lie in the Clever Design of their Labour Market Reforms?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2492, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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