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Patterns of work across the OECD

Faggio, Giulia and Nickell, Stephen (2006) Patterns of work across the OECD. CEPDP, 730. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 0753020262

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Identification Number: 730

Abstract

Market work per person of working age differs widely across the OECD countries and there have been some significant changes in the last forty years. How to explain this pattern? Taxes are part of the story but much remains to be explained. If we include all the elements of the social security systems like early retirement benefits, sickness and disability benefits and unemployment benefits, then we can capture some aspects of the overall pattern but still a lot remains unexplained. The story favoured by Alesina et al. (CEPR DP.5140, 2005) is that the nexus of strong unions, generous welfare and social democracy implies both high taxes and pressure in favour of work-sharing in response to adverse shocks. This story, however, falls foul of the simple fact that most Scandinavian countries now do much more work than the French and Germans despite having stronger unions, more generous welfare, higher taxes and more social democracy. Ultimately, we are forced into the position that there is no simple story. Some of the broad patterns can be explained but there remain country specific factors which are hard to identify but lead to substantial differences from one country to another.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 2006 the authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2008 10:07
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2010 09:13
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/19853

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