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The Determinants of Part-Time Work in EU Countries: Empirical Investigations with Macro-Panel Data

  • Buddelmeyer, Hielke

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • Mourre, Gilles

    ()

    (European Commission)

  • Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E.

    ()

    (European Central Bank)

This paper aims to identify the contribution of the business cycle and structural factors to the development of part-time employment in the EU-15 countries, through the exploitation of both cross-sectional and time series variations over the past two decades. Key results include that the business cycle is found to exert a negative effect on part-time employment developments. This is consistent with firms utilising part-time employment as a means of adjusting their labour force to economic conditions. Correspondingly, involuntary part-time employment is found to be countercyclical, being higher in troughs of economic activity. Splitting our sample reveals a very significant effect of the business cycle on the rate of part-time work for young and male prime-age workers. Conversely, the effect is very weak for women and insignificant for older workers. Institutions and other structural factors are also found to be significant and important determinants of the rate of part-time employment. Changes in legislation to part-time employment are found to be effective, having a strong and positive impact on part-time employment developments. Moreover, employment protection legislation is positively correlated with the part-time employment rate, which is consistent with the use of part-time work as a tool for enhancing flexibility in the presence of rigid labour markets. Less robust evidence suggests the presence of unemployment traps for some potential part-time workers. Cross-country evidence also indicates that the lower labour costs borne by firms when employing part-time workers has a large and positive influence on the part-time employment rate.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1361.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1361
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  1. Euwals, Rob & Hogerbrugge, Maurice, 2004. "Explaining the Growth of Part-Time Employment: Factors of Supply and Demand," IZA Discussion Papers 1124, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Luca Nunziata, 2001. "Institutions and Wage Determination: a Multi-Country Approach," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-W29, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta & Olivier Boylaud, 2000. "Summary Indicators of Product Market Regulation with an Extension to Employment Protection Legislation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 226, OECD Publishing.
  4. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Female Labour Force Participation: Past Trends and Main Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 376, OECD Publishing.
  5. Buddelmeyer, Hielke & Mourre, Gilles & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie, 2005. "Part-time work in EU countries: labour market mobility, entry and exit," Working Paper Series 0460, European Central Bank.
  6. Susan N. Houseman, 2001. "Why employers use flexible staffing arrangements: Evidence from an establishment survey," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 149-170, October.
  7. Garry F. Barrett & Denise J. Doiron, 2001. "Working part time: by choice or by constraint," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1042-1065, November.
  8. 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.
  9. Henry S. Farber, 1999. "Alternative and Part-Time Employment Arrangements as a Response to Job Loss," NBER Working Papers 7002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michèle Belot & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Does the recent success of some OECD countries in lowering their unemployment rates lie in the clever design of their labor market reforms?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 621-642, October.
  12. Laroque, Guy & Salanié, Bernard, 2003. "Fertility and Financial Incentives in France," CEPR Discussion Papers 4064, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Buddelmeyer, Hielke & Mourre, Gilles & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2004. "Recent Developments in Part-Time Work in EU-15 Countries: Trends and Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 1415, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. repec:dgr:kubcen:200040 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Maia Güell & Barbara Petrongolo, 2000. "Workers Transitions from Temporary to Permanent Employment: the Spanish Case," CEP Discussion Papers dp0438, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  16. Jacqueline O'Reilly & Silke Bothfeld, 2002. "What happens after working part time? Integration, maintenance or exclusionary transitions in Britain and western Germany," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 409-439, July.
  17. Farber, Henry S, 1999. "Alternative and Part-Time Employment Arrangements as a Response to Job Loss," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S142-69, October.
  18. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
  19. Rebecca M. Blank, 1994. "The Dynamics of Part-Time Work," NBER Working Papers 4911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Haskel, Jonathan & Kersley, Barbara & Martin, Christopher, 1997. "Labour Market Flexibility and Employment Adjustment: Micro Evidence from UK Establishments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 362-79, July.
  21. 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.
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