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Trends in Hours and Economic Growth


  • Rachel Ngai
  • Christopher Pissarides


We study the impact of three different types of policy on the sectoral composition of employment and on the overall level of market employment: (1) regulations that reduce the efficiency of market production, such as administrative burdens on companies, (2) income transfers across population groups financed by taxes, and (3) public provision of services, also financed by taxes. We claim that the three types are being applied with different weight in OECD countries. Anglo-Saxon countries rely mainly on income transfers, social democracies, especially of the Scandinavian kind, provide large amounts of public services, and continental European countries regulate employment more than the others and have large tax-transfer programs. We develop a dynamic model of the allocation of time and calibrate the impact of each type of regulation by matching our parameters to data from these countries. We claim that the regulation of market activity effectively reduces total factor productivity in the market, and has implications for the dynamics of the allocation of time to the market and the home. Tax-transfer programs shift time from market production to home production, and the public provision of services effectively taxes non-service production to subsidise service production.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel Ngai & Christopher Pissarides, 2006. "Trends in Hours and Economic Growth," 2006 Meeting Papers 56, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:56

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    welfare state; regulation; structural transformation; hours of work; labour supply; home production; marketization;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models


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