IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Myth of Worksharing

  • Arie Kapteyn

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 32.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Oct 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:32
Contact details of provider: Postal: Manor Rd. Building, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Calmfors, Lars & Hoel, Michael, 1988. " Work Sharing and Overtime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(1), pages 45-62.
  2. Kapteyn, A. & Kalwij, A.S. & Zaidi, M.A., 2000. "The Myth of Worksharing," Discussion Paper 2000-23, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Bekker, Paul A, 1994. "Alternative Approximations to the Distributions of Instrumental Variable Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 657-81, May.
  4. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, July.
  5. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  6. Linda Bell & Richard Freeman, 1994. "Why Do Americans and Germans Work Different Hours?," NBER Working Papers 4808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Spanos,Aris, 1986. "Statistical Foundations of Econometric Modelling," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521269124.
  8. Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, R., 1992. "Estimating Long-Run Relationships From Dynamic Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9215, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  9. Swamy, P A V B, 1970. "Efficient Inference in a Random Coefficient Regression Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 311-23, March.
  10. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Nymoen, Ragnar, 1989. " Wages and the Length of the Working Day. An Empirical Test Based on Norwegian Quarterly Manufacturing Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(3), pages 599-612.
  12. Calmfors, Lars, 1985. "Work sharing, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 293-309.
  13. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, July.
  14. Toedter, Karl-Heinz, 1988. "Effects of shorter hours on employment in disequilibrium models," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1319-1333, July.
  15. Arie Kapteyn & Klaas de Vos, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in The Netherlands," NBER Working Papers 6135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Bauer, Thomas K. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Overtime Work and Overtime Compensation in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 48, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. 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.
  18. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:1:p:117-148 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. 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).
  20. Jennifer Hunt, 1996. "Has Work-Sharing Worked in Germany?," NBER Working Papers 5724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. R Richardson & Marcus Rubin, 1993. "The Shorter Working Week in Engineering: Surrender without Sacrifice," CEP Discussion Papers dp0113, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  22. 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.
  23. Hart, R A & Sharot, T, 1978. "The Short-run Demand for Workers and Hours: A Recursive Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 299-309, June.
  24. Cheng Hsiao, 1997. "Cointegration and Dynamic Simultaneous Equations Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 647-670, May.
  25. Tor Jacobson & Henry Ohlsson, 2000. "Working time, employment, and work sharing: Evidence from Sweden," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 169-187.
  26. G Houpis, 1993. "The Effect of Lower Hours of Work on Wages and Employment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0131, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  27. Yongcheol Shin & Ron P Smith & Mohammad Hashem Pesaran, 1998. "Pooled Mean Group Estimation of Dynamic Heterogeneous Panels," ESE Discussion Papers 16, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  28. Friesen, Jane, 2001. "Overtime pay regulation and weekly hours of work in Canada," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 691-720, December.
  29. 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.
  30. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Jennifer Hunt, 1996. "The Response of Wages and Actual Hours Worked to the Reductions of Standard Hours," NBER Working Papers 5716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. 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.
  33. Jennifer Hunt, 1998. "Hours Reductions as Work-Sharing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 339-381.
  34. Booth, Alison & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 1987. "The Employment Effects of a Shorter Working Week," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 54(214), pages 237-48, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:32. 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: (Monica Birds)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.