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Is Short-Time Work a Good Method to Keep Unemployment Down?

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  • Cahuc, Pierre

    () (Ecole Polytechnique, Paris)

  • Carcillo, Stéphane

    () (OECD)

Abstract

Short-time work compensation aims at reducing lay-offs by allowing employers to temporarily reduce hours worked while compensating workers for the induced loss of income. These programs are now widespread in the OECD countries, notably following the 2008-2009 crisis. This paper discusses the efficiency of this type of policy and investigates its impact on unemployment and employment. There is some evidence that short-time compensation programs stabilize permanent employment and reduce unemployment during downturns. All in all, it seems that short-time work programs used in the recent downturn had significant beneficial effects. This suggests that countries which do not have short-time compensation programs could benefit from their introduction. But short-time compensation programs can also induce inefficient reductions in working hours and reduce the prospects of outsiders if used too intensively. Thus, the design of short-time compensation programs should include an experience-rating component.

Suggested Citation

  • Cahuc, Pierre & Carcillo, Stéphane, 2011. "Is Short-Time Work a Good Method to Keep Unemployment Down?," IZA Discussion Papers 5430, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5430
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David, Quentin & Janiak, Alexandre & Wasmer, Etienne, 2010. "Local social capital and geographical mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 191-204, September.
    2. Burdett, Kenneth & Wright, Randall, 1989. "Unemployment Insurance and Short-Time Compensation: The Effects on Layoffs, Hours per Worker, and Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1479-1496, December.
    3. Van Audenrode, Marc A, 1994. "Short-Time Compensation: Job Security, and Employment Contracts: Evidence from Selected OECD Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 76-102, February.
    4. Calavrezo, Oana & Duhautois, Richard & Walkowiak, Emmanuelle, 2010. "Short-Time Compensation and Establishment Exit: An Empirical Analysis with French Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4989, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Alberto Alesina & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Paola Giuliano, 2015. "Family Values And The Regulation Of Labor," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 599-630, August.
    6. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2006. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 357-386, July.
    7. repec:dlw:wpaper:09-10. is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Cahuc, Pierre & Zylberberg, André, 2008. "Optimum income taxation and layoff taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2003-2019, October.
    9. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1994. "Does Employment Protection Inhibit Labor Market Flexibility? Lessons from Germany, France, and Belgium," NBER Chapters,in: Social Protection versus Economic Flexibility: Is There a Trade-Off?, pages 59-94 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Alexander Hijzen & Danielle Venn, 2011. "The Role of Short-Time Work Schemes during the 2008-09 Recession," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 115, OECD Publishing.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    short-time work; unemployment; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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