Inefficient Short-Time Work
32 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2018 Last revised: 3 Oct 2018
Date Written: September 1, 2018
This paper shows that the reforms which expanded short-time work in France after the great 2008-2009 recession were largely to the benefit of large firms which are recurrent short-time work users. We argue that this expansion of short-time work is an inefficient way to provide insurance to workers, as it entails cross-subsidies which reduce aggregate production. An efficient policy should provide unemployment insurance benefits funded by experience rated employers’ contributions instead of short-time work benefits. We find that short-time work entails significant production losses compared to an unemployment insurance scheme with experience rating.
Keywords: Short-time work, unemployment insurance, experience rating
JEL Classification: J63, J65
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