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The Myth of Worksharing

  • Arie Kapteyn
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    Worksharing is considered by many as a promising public policy to reduce unemployment. In this paper we present a review of the most pertinent theoretical and empirical contributions to the literature on worksharing. In addition, we also provide new empirical evidence on this issue, by a cross country analysis exploiting aggregate data for 13 OECD countries. The conclusions of the literature survey are indecisive. Conclusions about the efficacy of worksharing as an employment enhancing policy tool depend heavily on the setting in which the analysis takes place. Our empirical analysis does not find any evidence for the proposition that worksharing would promote employment or reduce unemployment. In an appendix we present an overview of recent public policy experience of European Countries with respect to different forms of worksharing. Also here the evidence is mixed.

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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper032.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 32.

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    Date of creation: 01 Oct 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:32
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Manor Rd. Building, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
    Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
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    1. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, March.
    2. Calmfors, Lars & Hoel, Michael, 1988. " Work Sharing and Overtime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(1), pages 45-62.
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    5. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, March.
    6. Calmfors, Lars, 1985. "Work sharing, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 293-309.
    7. Jennifer Hunt, 1996. "Has Work-Sharing Worked in Germany?," NBER Working Papers 5724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hunt, Jennifer, 1996. "The Response of Wages and Actual Hours Worked to the Reduction of Standard Hours in Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 1526, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Linda Bell & Richard Freeman, 1994. "Why Do Americans and Germans Work Different Hours?," NBER Working Papers 4808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kalwij, Adriaan & Gregory, Mary, 2000. "Overtime Hours in Great Britain over the Period 1975-1999: A Panel Data Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 153, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Hoel, Michael & Vale, Bent, 1986. "Effects on unemployment of reduced working time in an economy where firms set wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1097-1104, October.
    13. Bekker, Paul A, 1994. "Alternative Approximations to the Distributions of Instrumental Variable Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 657-81, May.
    14. Booth, Alison & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Employment and Length of the Working Week in a Unionized Economy in which Hours of Work Influence Productivity," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 69(207), pages 428-36, December.
    15. Arie Kapteyn & Klaas de Vos, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in the Netherlands," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 269-303 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521269124 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Swamy, P A V B, 1970. "Efficient Inference in a Random Coefficient Regression Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 311-23, March.
    18. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
    19. Toedter, Karl-Heinz, 1988. "Effects of shorter hours on employment in disequilibrium models," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1319-1333, July.
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