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Welfare policy and the distribution of hours of work

  • L. Rachel Ngai
  • Christopher A. Pissarides

We examine the distribution of hours of work across industrial sectors in OECD countries. We find large disparities when sectors are divided into three groups: one that produces goods without home substitutes and two others that have home substitutes — health and social work, and all others. We attribute the disparities to the countries’ tax and subsidy policies. High taxation substantially reduces hours in sectors that have close home substitutes but less so in other sectors. Health and social care subsidies increase hours in that sector. We compute these effects for nineteen OECD countries.

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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 28698.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28698
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  1. Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Structural Transformation and the Deterioration of European Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 235-259, 04.
  2. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher Pissarides, 2008. "Trends in hours and economic growth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3828, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Pierre Cahuc & Yann Algan, 2009. "Civic Virtue and Labor Market Institutions," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 111-45, January.
  4. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Taxation and market work: is Scandinavia an outlier?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 59-85, July.
  5. Richard B. Freeman & Ronald Schettkat, 2005. "Marketization of household production and the EU–US gap in work," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(41), pages 6-50, 01.
  6. Chang, Yongsung & Schorfheide, Frank, 2003. "Labor-supply shifts and economic fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1751-1768, November.
  7. Conny Olovsson, 2004. "Why do Europeans Work so Little?," 2004 Meeting Papers 760, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Lee Ohanian & Andrea Raffo & Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Long-term changes in labor supply and taxes: evidence from OECD countries, 1956-2004," Research Working Paper RWP 06-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  9. Ellen McGrattan & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1995. "An equilibrium model of the business cycle with household production and fiscal policy," Staff Report 191, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Assar Lindbeck, 1997. "The Swedish Experiment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1273-1319, September.
  11. Ngai, L. Rachel & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2005. "Structural Change in a Multi-Sector Model of Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 1800, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Blundell, Richard & Pashardes, Panos & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "What Do We Learn About Consumer Demand Patterns from Micro Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 570-97, June.
  13. Rupert, Peter & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Estimating Substitution Elasticities in Household Production Models," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 179-93, June.
  14. Burda, Michael C. & Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Weil, Philippe, 2006. "The Distribution of Total Work in the EU and US," IZA Discussion Papers 2270, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Sherwin Rosen, 1995. "Public Employment, Taxes and the Welfare State in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 5003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Berthold Herrendorf & Richard Rogerson & Akos Valentinyi, 2011. "Two Perspectives on Preferences and Structural Transformation," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1134, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  17. Davis, Steven J. & Henrekson, Magnus, 2004. "Tax Effects on Work Activity, Industry Mix and Shadow Economy Size: Evidence from Rich-Country Comparisons," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 560, Stockholm School of Economics.
  18. Falvey, Rodney E & Gemmell, Norman, 1996. "Are Services Income-Elastic? Some New Evidence," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(3), pages 257-69, September.
  19. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005.
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