publication . Article . Research . 2017

Working Long Hours: Less Productive But Less Costly? Firm-Level Evidence From Belgium

DELMEZ, Françoise; Vandenberghe, Vincent;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Jan 2017 Journal: SSRN Electronic Journal (eissn: 1556-5068, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: Elsevier BV
  • Country: Belgium
Abstract
From the point of view of a profit-maximizing firm, the optimal number of working hours depends not only on the marginal productivity of hours but also on the marginal labour cost. This paper develops and assesses empirically a simple model of firms' decision making where productivity varies with hours and where the firm faces labour costs per worker that are invariant to the number of hours worked: i.e. quasi-fixed labour costs. Using Belgian firm-level data on production, labour costs, workers and hours, and focusing of the estimation of workers/hours elasticities of isoquant and isocost, we find evidence of the declining productivity of hours, but also of qua...
Subjects
Medical Subject Headings: health care economics and organizationsreproductive and urinary physiology
free text keywords: men vs hours, working hours, imperfect substitutability, labour costs
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