IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp5635.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Short-Time Work Benefits Revisited: Some Lessons from the Great Recession

Author

Listed:
  • Boeri, Tito

    () (Bocconi University)

  • Brücker, Herbert

    () (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

Abstract

The Great Recession triggered a resurgence of short-time work (STW) throughout the OECD. Several countries introduced from scratch STW or significantly expanded the scope of the programmes already in place. In some countries like Italy, Japan and Germany between 2.5 and 5 per cent of the workforce participated in short-time work schemes at the trough of the recession. In this paper we analyse the rationale for short time work benefits and their effects on labour adjustment from both a cross-country and a time-series perspective. We find that STW actually contributed to reduce job losses during the Great Recession. However, the number of jobs saved, according to our macroeconomic estimates, is smaller than the full-time equivalents jobs involved by these programmes, pointing in some cases to sizeable deadweight costs. Other institutions, like plant-level bargaining over hours, wages and employment levels may be more effective than STW in encouraging adjustment along the intensive margins in presence of temporary shocks. Our results also suggest that STW cannot be readily extended to countries having much different institutional configurations as the demand for STW is very much affected by other institutions such as employment protection legislation and the degree of centralization of collective bargaining. The micro evidence from firm-level data in Germany is more encouraging as to the effectiveness of STW, pointing to rather moderate deadweight losses. We interpret this result as due to specific design features of the German STW that could make it more effective in addressing the moral hazard problems related to reliance on subsidised hour reductions. The German Kurzarbeit scheme is indeed discouraging 100 per cent hours reductions and is experience-rated.

Suggested Citation

  • Boeri, Tito & Brücker, Herbert, 2011. "Short-Time Work Benefits Revisited: Some Lessons from the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 5635, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5635
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp5635.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. FitzRoy, Felix R & Hart, Robert A, 1985. "Hours, Layoffs and Unemployment Insurance Funding: Theory and Practice in an International Perspective," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 700-713, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intensive margin; short-time;

    JEL classification:

    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5635. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.