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Differences in hours worked in the OECD: institutions or fiscal policies?

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  • T. BERGER
  • F. HEYLEN

Abstract

This paper studies the determinants of the level and the evolution of per capita hours worked in a panel of OECD countries since the 1970s. Following Pesaran (Econometrica, 2006), our empirical strategy allows for the possibility of cross-sectionally correlated error terms due to unobserved common factors which are potentially non-stationary. We find that much of the variation in hours worked across countries and over time can be explained by differences in fiscal policy, i.e. differences in the level and structure of taxes and in the structure of government expenditures. Hours worked rise when labour taxes and non-employment benefits fall and when the shares of productive government expenditures and government wage consumption increase. Differences in (the evolution of) labour and product market institutions have much less of a role to play. Our results show that a careful treatment of the time-series properties of the data is crucial.

Suggested Citation

  • T. Berger & F. Heylen, 2009. "Differences in hours worked in the OECD: institutions or fiscal policies?," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/601, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:09/601
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    Cited by:

    1. Lorenzo Carbonari & Vincenzo Atella & Paola Samà, 2018. "Hours worked in selected OECD countries: an empirical assessment," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 525-545, July.
    2. F. Heylen & A. Hoebeeck & T. Buyse, 2011. "Fiscal consolidation, institutions and institutional reform: a multivariate analysis of public debt dynamics," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/763, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    3. Tim Buyse & Freddy Heylen & Ruben Schoonackers, 2015. "On The Role Of Public Policies And Wage Formation For Private Investment In R&D: A Long-Run Panel Analysis," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 15/911, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    4. Freddy Heylen & Renaat Van de Kerckhove, 2014. "Heterogeneous ability and the effects of fiscal policy on employment, income and welfare in general equilibrium," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 14/898, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    5. Tino Berger & Freddy Heylen, 2011. "Differences in Hours Worked in the OECD: Institutions or Fiscal Policies?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(7), pages 1333-1369, October.
    6. Alessandra Casarico & Alessandro Sommacal, 2018. "Taxation and parental time allocation under different assumptions on altruism," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(1), pages 140-165, February.
    7. Goerke, Laszlo & Hillesheim, Inga, 2013. "Relative consumption, working time, and trade unions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 170-179.
    8. Georgiadis, Georgios, 2014. "Towards an explanation of cross-country asymmetries in monetary transmission," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 66-84.
    9. López-Martín Bernabé & Takayama Naoki, 2015. "The Blighted Youth: The Impact of Recessions and Policies on Life-Cycle Unemployment," Working Papers 2015-22, Banco de México.
    10. Janiak, Alexandre & Santos Monteiro, Paulo, 2016. "Towards a quantitative theory of automatic stabilizers: The role of demographics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 35-49.
    11. Heylen, Freddy & Hoebeeck, Annelies & Buyse, Tim, 2013. "Government efficiency, institutions, and the effects of fiscal consolidation on public debt," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 40-59.
    12. Heylen, Freddy & Van de Kerckhove, Renaat, 2019. "Getting low educated and older people into work: The role of fiscal policy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 586-606.
    13. Gerdie Everaert & Freddy Heylen & Ruben Schoonackers, 2015. "Fiscal policy and TFP in the OECD: measuring direct and indirect effects," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 605-640, September.
    14. R. Schoonackers & F. Heylen, 2011. "Fiscal Policy and TFP in the OECD: A Non-Stationary Panel Approach," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/701, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    15. Laszlo Goerke & Sabrina Jeworrek & Markus Pannenberg, 2015. "Trade union membership and paid vacation in Germany," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-26, December.
    16. Heylen Freddy & Van de Kerckhove Renaat, 2013. "Employment by age, education, and economic growth: effects of fiscal policy composition in general equilibrium," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-55, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    hours worked; taxes; government expenditures; labour market institutions; panel data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy; Modern Monetary Theory
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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