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Does Worksharing Work? Some Empirical Evidence from the IAB Panel


  • Simmons, R.
  • Schank, Thorsten
  • Andrews, Martyn J.


Recent policy debate in Europe suggests that a shorter workweek will lead to more jobs (worksharing). We derive and estimate a model where the firm employs two types of worker, some working overtime, the rest standard hours. Worksharing is not always a prediction of the theory. Using German establishment-level panel data (the IAB panel), 1993-1999, we find pro-worksharing effects in small plants in the East German non-service sector. There is evidence that a cut in standard hours lowers the proportion of overtime workers in a plant, as predicted by the theory, and increases the proportion of standard-time plants.

Suggested Citation

  • Simmons, R. & Schank, Thorsten & Andrews, Martyn J., 2004. "Does Worksharing Work? Some Empirical Evidence from the IAB Panel," Discussion Papers 25, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:faulre:25

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
    2. Jennifer Hunt, 1999. "Has Work-Sharing Worked in Germany?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 117-148.
    3. Tor Jacobson & Henry Ohlsson, 2000. "Working time, employment, and work sharing: Evidence from Sweden," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 169-187.
    4. Andrews, M J & Simmons, R, 2001. "Friday May Never Be the Same Again: Some Results on Work-Sharing from Union-Firm Bargaining Models," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 48(5), pages 488-516, November.
    5. 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.
    6. Brunello, Giorgio, 1989. "The Employment Effects of Shorter Working Hours: An Application to Japanese Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(224), pages 473-486, November.
    7. Bauer, Thomas & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1999. "Overtime Work and Overtime Compensation in Germany," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 46(4), pages 419-436, September.
    8. Leslie, Derek, 1991. "Modelling Hours of Work in a Labour Services Function," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 38(1), pages 19-31, February.
    9. Kapteyn, Arie & Kalwij, Adriaan & Zaidi, Asghar, 2004. "The myth of worksharing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 293-313, June.
    10. Kalwig, A.S. & Gregory, M., 2000. "Overtime Hours in Great Britain Over the Period 1975-1999: A panel Data Analysis," Economics Series Working Papers 9927, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    11. Calmfors, Lars & Hoel, Michael, 1988. " Work Sharing and Overtime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(1), pages 45-62.
    12. Hart, Robert A & Ruffell, Robin J, 1993. "The Cost of Overtime Hours in British Production Industries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 60(238), pages 183-201, May.
    13. Bell, D. & RA Hart, 1999. "Overtime Working in an Unregulated Labour Market," Working Papers Series 9904, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    14. Hart, Robert A. & Malley, James R. & Ruffell, Robin J., 1996. "What shapes are overtime premium schedules? Some evidence from Japan, the UK, and the US," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 97-102, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Crepon & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Employed 40 Hours or Not Employed 39: Lessons from the 1982 Mandatory Reduction of the Workweek," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1355-1389, December.
    2. Friesen, Jane, 2001. "Overtime pay regulation and weekly hours of work in Canada," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 691-720, December.
    3. Altavilla, Carlo & Garofalo, Antonio & Vinci, Concetto Paolo, 2005. "Evaluating the effects of working hours on employment and wages," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 647-664, September.
    4. Bartsch, Klaus, 2007. "Gesamtwirtschaftliche Wirkungen von Arbeitszeiterhöhungen ohne Lohnausgleich: Makroökonometrische Wirkungsanalysen für Deutschland im Kontext der aktuellen Arbeitszeitdebatte," Arbeitspapiere 100, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Düsseldorf.
    5. Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus, 2004. "Betriebliche Determinanten des Überstundeneinsatzes," Discussion Papers 24, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.

    More about this item


    worksharing; plant-level panel data; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models


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