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Loosening hours constraints on the supply of labor: what if Germans had a Dutch labor market?

  • Wolf, Elke
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    Total employment in Germany is supposed to increase if people could realize their desired working hours. However, this back-of-the-envelope calculation overestimates the effect of loosening hours constraints, because even in a very flexible labor market there will exist hours restrictions for certain jobs and occupations. Therefore, I simulate Germans' working hours in a more flexible but real world, namely the Dutch labor market. The results indicate that the average weekly working hours of German employees would indeed decrease if they had a Dutch Labor market. Thus, there exists some potential for additional work-sharing in Germany. Furthermore, the match between actual and desired hours of Germans would improve if Germans faced the same hours flexibility as Dutch employees. This holds both for men and for women. Another piece of good news is that hours restrictions shrank over time, which means, Germany seems to be moving towards a more flexible labor market.

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    Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 00-54.

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    Date of creation: 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5338
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    1. Hunt, Jennifer, 1997. "Has Work Sharing Worked in Germany?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1553, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. van Ours, J.C. & Nickell, S.J., 2000. "The Netherlands and the United Kingdom : A European unemployment miracle?," Other publications TiSEM 8dc4101d-6e72-44dd-9ab0-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Euwals, Rob & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "Desired and actual labour supply of unmarried men and women in the Netherlands," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-118, March.
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    6. Kapteyn, Arie & Kalwij, Adriaan & Zaidi, Asghar, 2000. "The Myth of Worksharing," IZA Discussion Papers 188, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Konig, Heinz & Pohlmeier, Winfried, 1988. "Employment, Labour Utilization and Procyclical Labour Productivity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 551-72.
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      • Bell, David N F & Hart, Robert A, 1999. "Unpaid Work," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 271-90, May.
    15. Wolf, Elke, 2000. "Lower wages for less hours? A simultaneous wage-hours model for Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-03, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    16. Ilmakunnas, Seija & Pudney, Stephen, 1990. "A model of female labour supply in the presence of hours restrictions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 183-210, March.
    17. Wolf, Elke, 1998. "Do hours restrictions matter? A discrete family labor supply model with endogenous wages and hours restrictions," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-44, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    18. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    19. Aaberge, R. & Colombino, U. & Strom, S., 1997. "Joint Labor Supply Decisions of Married Females and Males: An Empirical Analysis Based on Italian Household Data," Memorandum 18/1997, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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