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When Short-Time Work Works

Author

Listed:
  • Pierre Cahuc

    (École polytechnique (X))

  • Francis Kramarz

    (Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique (GENES))

  • Sandra Nevoux

    (Banque de France)

Abstract

Short-time work programs were revived by the Great Recession. To understand their operating mechanisms, we first provide a model showing that short-time work may save jobs in firms hit by strong negative revenue shocks, but not in less severely-hit firms, where hours worked are reduced, without saving jobs. The cost of saving jobs is low because short-time work targets those at risk of being destroyed. Using extremely detailed data on the administration of the program covering the universe of French establishments, we devise a causal identification strategy based on the geography of the program that demonstrates that short-time work saved jobs in firms faced with large drops in their revenues during the Great Recession, in particular when highly levered, but only in these firms. The measured cost per saved job is shown to be very low relative to that of other employment policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Cahuc & Francis Kramarz & Sandra Nevoux, 2018. "When Short-Time Work Works," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2018-03, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/6596a4s9af8lt872jnqvm5jg73
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Russell Cooper, 2017. "The Employment and Output Effects of Short-Time Work in Germany," 2017 Meeting Papers 613, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Xavier Giroud & Holger M. Mueller, 2017. "Firm Leverage, Consumer Demand, and Employment Losses during the Great Recession," Working Papers 17-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Leo Kaas & Philipp Kircher, 2015. "Efficient Firm Dynamics in a Frictional Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3030-3060, October.
    4. Burdett, Kenneth & Wright, Randall, 1989. "Unemployment Insurance and Short-Time Compensation: The Effects on Layoffs, Hours per Worker, and Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1479-1496, December.
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    6. Calavrezo, Oana & Duhautois, Richard & Walkowiak, Emmanuelle, 2010. "Short-Time Compensation and Establishment Exit: An Empirical Analysis with French Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4989, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    8. Balleer, Almut & Gehrke, Britta & Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian, 2016. "Does short-time work save jobs? A business cycle analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 99-122.
    9. Braun, Helge & Brügemann, Björn, 2014. "Welfare Effects of Short-Time Compensation," IZA Discussion Papers 8597, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 2014. "Short-Time Compensation as a Tool to Mitigate Job Loss? Evidence on the U.S. Experience During the Recent Recession," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 543-567, October.
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    14. Hertweck, Matthias Sebastian & Brey, Björn, 2016. "The Extension of Short-time Work Schemes during the Great Recession: A Story of Success?," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145795, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giulia Giupponi & Camille Landais, 2018. "Subsidizing Labor Hoarding in Recessions: The Employment & Welfare Effects of Short Time Work," CEP Discussion Papers dp1585, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Giupponi, Giulia & Landais, Camille, 2018. "Subsidizing labor hoarding in recessions: the employment and welfare effects of short time work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 91708, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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