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Working time policy in France


  • Pierre Boisard

    () (IDHE - Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l'Economie - ENS Cachan - École normale supérieure - Cachan - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - UP8 - Université Paris 8, Vincennes-Saint-Denis - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


Working time has always been considered in France to be an area of responsibility for the State. TheActs on the 35-hour working week come therefore from a long tradition of State intervention toregulate employment and working conditions. This particular configuration is not found in otherEuropean countries.In this paper is presented the French specificity: a work sharing logic supported by the State. The aimat generating employment through a legal reduction of working time brought the government to drawup an extremely complex set of Acts. These one are not restricted to defining legal work duration;they also advocate reductions in social contributions and give a precise framework to negotiatecollective agreements.A synthesis of the consequences of the 35-hour Act shows that the effects on employment are limited(creation of 300,000 jobs), that social relations did not improve and that inequalities amongemployees were accentuated

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Boisard, 2004. "Working time policy in France," Post-Print halshs-00400703, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00400703
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruno Crepon & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Employed 40 Hours or Not Employed 39: Lessons from the 1982 Mandatory Reduction of the Workweek," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1355-1389, December.
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