Collectively agreed reductions of working hours phased out in Europe in the 1990ies. During the last two decades, working
time became more flexible and heterogeneous. Working hours of full-time employees in the EU hardly changed. The strong increase
in part-time work was the outstanding phenomenon. Today, one third of female employees and almost 10 percent of male employees
work part-time. In a period of slow growth, productivity gains will be squeezed by subdued investment and low capacity utilisation.
Thus, a smaller pie will be available either for real wage increases or for working time reductions. In this situation, it
will be politically even more difficult to find an agreement on shorter working hours than in past decades. Since the productivity
and employment effects of a working time reduction in a low-growth period are quite uncertain, social partners must be willing
to negotiate again when the effects become apparent.
Forschungsbereich:Arbeitsmarktökonomie, Einkommen und soziale Sicherheit