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Working Hours and Job Sharing in the EU and USA
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Working Hours and Job Sharing in the EU and USA: Are Europeans Lazy? Or Americans Crazy?

Tito Boeri, Michael Burda, and Francis Kramarz


In the last fifty 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%. 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 be 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 ... More

Keywords: labour productivity gap, working hours, reward, per capita income, spare time, well-being

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780199231027
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231027.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Tito Boeri, editor
Professor of Economics, Bocconi University, Milan
Author Webpage

Michael Burda, editor
Professor of Economics, Humboldt University Berlin
Author Webpage

Francis Kramarz, editor
Head of the Research Department at CREST-INSEE and Associate Professor at Ecole Polytechnique
Author Webpage

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