WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe

The 7th EU Research Framework Project "Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe – WWWforEurope" was set out in 2012 to 2016 to find answers to many questions, central among them: What kind of development strategy should Europe opt for in the face of the financial crisis and the big challenges ahead: globalisation, demographic shifts, climate change and new technologies? What kind of strategy will guarantee "Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe" in the long term?

After four years of work by researchers from 34 institutions, please find the WWWforEurope project's answers in the publications which can be downloaded here (project deliverables, working papers, policy briefs and policy papers). Also the most important WWWforEurope events can be accessed here.

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Details

Klara Zwickl, Franziska Disslbacher, Sigrid Stagl (WU Wien)
Work-sharing for a Sustainable Economy. WWWforEurope Working Paper No. 111
WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe, January 2016, 29 pages
Commissioned by: European Commission
Supported by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH – Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research – OeAD-GmbH
Study by: Project team WWWforEurope
Achieving low unemployment in an environment of weak growth is a major policy challenge; a more egalitarian distribution of hours worked could be the key to solving it. Whether work-sharing actually increases employment, however, has been debated controversially. In this article we present stylised facts on the distribution of hours worked and discuss the role of work-sharing for a sustainable economy. Building on recent developments in labour market theory we review the determinants of working long hours and its effect on well-being. Finally, we survey work-sharing reforms in the past. While there seems to be a consensus that worksharing in the Great Depression in the USA and in the Great Recession in Europe was successful in reducing employment losses, perceptions of the work-sharing reforms implemented between the 1980ies and early 2000ies are more ambivalent. However, even the most critical evaluations of these reforms provide no credible evidence of negative employment effects; instead, the overall success of the policy seems to depend on the economic and institutional setting, as well as the specific details of its implementation.
Research group:Labour Market, Income and Social Security
Language:English