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Working time regulation, unequal lifetimes and fairness

Author

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  • Marie-Louise Leroux

    (CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, UQAM - Université du Québec à Montréal , CIRPEE - Centre interuniversitaire sur le risque, les politiques économiques et l'emploi - Centre Interuniversitaire sur le Risque, les Politiques Economiques et l'Emploi, CESifo - CESifo - Munich)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12)

Abstract

We examine the redistributive impact of working time regulations in an economy with unequal lifetimes. We first compare the laissez-faire equilibrium with the ex post egalitarian optimum, where the realized lifetime well-being of the worst off (usually the short-lived) is maximized, and show that, unlike the laissez-faire, this social optimum involves an increasing working time age profile and equalizes the realized lifetime well-being of the short-lived and the long-lived. We then examine whether working time regulations can compensate the short-lived. It is shown that uniform working time regulations cannot improve the situation of the short-lived with respect to the laissez-faire, and can only reduce well-being inequalities at the cost of making the short-lived worse off. However, age-specific regulations involving lower working time for the young and higher working time for the old make the short-lived better off, even though such regulations may not fully eradicate well-being inequalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie-Louise Leroux & Grégory Ponthière, 2018. "Working time regulation, unequal lifetimes and fairness," Post-Print halshs-01885476, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01885476
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01885476
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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