New books


Working hours and job sharing in the EU and USA

Are Europeans lazy? Or Americans crazy?

Tito Boeri, Michael Burda og Francis Kramarz

Oxford University Press 2008. 288 s.
Bogomtale fra forlaget.

* Written by leading experts in the field of labour economics
* Unique combination of theory and new data
* Useful analysis of policies relating to job sharing and working hours in the EU and USA

In the last 50 years the gap in labour productivity between Europe and the US has narrowed considerably with estimates in 2005 suggesting a EU-US labour productivity gap of about 5 per cent. Yet, average per capita income in the EU is still about 30% lower than in the US. This persistent gap in income per capita can be almost entirely explained by Europeans working less than Americans.

Why do Europeans work so little compared to Americans? What do they do with their spare time outside work? Can they be induced to work more without reducing labour productivity? If so, how? And what is the effect on well-being if policies are created to reward paid work as opposed to other potentially socially valuable activities, like childbearing? More broadly, should the state interfere at all when it comes to bargaining over working hours? This volume explores these questions and many more in an attempt to understand the changing nature of the hours worked in the USA and EU, as well as the effects of policies that impose working hour reductions.

Readership: Academics and graduate students in labour economics and sociology. Policymakers interested in labour markets and working practices.

Understanding Transatlantic Differences in Working Hours
Part I The Distribution of Total Work in the EU and USA Michael Burda, Daniel S. Hamermesh, and Philippe Weil
1. Time Use and Work Timing Inside and Outside the Market
2. Explaining the Data
3. Home Production, Set-up Costs, and Welfare
Comments by Alberto Alesina and Christopher Pissarides
Part II Labour Market Effects of Work-Sharing Arrangements in Europe Francis Kramarz, Pierre Cahuc, Bruno Crépon, Oskar Nordström Skans, Thorsten Schank, Gijsbert van Lomwel, and André Zylberberg
4. Relocation of Working Time and Employment
5. Working Time Developments in Germany
6. The Two French Work-Sharing Experiments: Employment and Productivity Effects
7. Unions, Working Hours, and Absence: Sweden
8. Work-sharing, Part-time Employment, and Childcare
9. Conclusion
Comments by Guiseppe Nicoletti and Jan van Ours
Final Remarks by Olivier Blanchard, Steve Nickell, and Guido Tabellini

Authors, editors, and contributors

Edited by Tito Boeri, Professor of Economics, Bocconi University, Milan,
Michael Burda, Professor of Economics, Humboldt University Berlin, and
Francis Kramarz, Head of the Research Department at CREST-INSEE and Associate Professor at Ecole Polytechnique
Contributors:Tito Boeri, Bocconi University
Michael Burda, Humboldt University Berlin
Pierre Cahuc, Paris 1-Pantheon Sorbonne
Bruno Crépon, CREST-INSEE
Francis Kramarz, CREST-INSEE
Daniel S. Hamermesh, University of Texas-Austin
Thorsten Schank, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität
Oskar Nordström Skans, Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation
Gijsbert van Lomwel, CentERdata
Philippe Weil, Universite Libre de Bruxelles
André Zylberberg, CNRS