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The Myth of Worksharing

  • Kapteyn, A.
  • Kalwij, A.
  • Zaidi, A.

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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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 9932.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:9932
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.
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  13. Calmfors, Lars & Hoel, Michael, 1988. " Work Sharing and Overtime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(1), pages 45-62.
  14. 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.
  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. 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.
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  19. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, March.
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  25. Friesen, Jane, 2001. "Overtime pay regulation and weekly hours of work in Canada," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 691-720, December.
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  27. 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.
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  29. 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.
  30. 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.
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  32. Cheng Hsiao, 1997. "Cointegration and Dynamic Simultaneous Equations Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 647-670, May.
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