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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.
Pt. I The Distribution of Total Work in the FU and USA Michael C. Burda Burda, Michael C. Daniel S. Hamennesh Hamennesh, Daniel S. Philippe Weil Weil, Philippe
1 Time Use and Work Timing Inside and Outside the Market
2 Explaining the Data
3 Home Production, Set up Costs, and Welfare
Comments Alberto Alesina Alesina, Alberto Christopher Pissarides Pissarides, Christopher
Pt. II Labor Market Effects of Work Sharing Arrangements in Europe Francis Kramarz Kramarz, Francis Pierre Cahuc Cahuc, Pierre Bruno Crepon Crepon, Bruno Oskar Nordstrom Skans Skans, Oskar Nordstrom Thorsten Schank Schank, Thorsten Gijsbert van Lomwel van Lomwel, Gijsbert Andre Zylberberg Zylberberg, Andre
4 Reduction 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
Comments Guiseppe Nicoletti Nicoletti, Guiseppe Jan van Ours van Ours, Jan
Final Remarks Olivier Blanchard Blanchard, Olivier Steve Nickell Nickell, Steve Guido Tabellini Tabellini, Guido