DP12269 Inefficient Short-Time Work

Author(s): Pierre Cahuc, Sandra Nevoux
Publication Date: September 2017
Keyword(s): experience rating, Short-time work, Unemployment insurance
JEL(s): J63, J65
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Public Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12269

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.