Working Time Accounts and Turnover

Discussion paper KDPE 1909 by Andrey Launov, University of Kent, September 2019.

Non-technical summary

Working time account is an organization tool that allows firms to smooth their demand for hours employed. Descriptive literature suggests that working time accounts are likely to reduce turnover and inhibit increase in unemployment during recessions. In a model of optimal labour demand I show that working time account does not necessarily guarantee lower turnover at a firm level. Turnover may be reduced or increased depending on whether the firm meets economic downturn with surplus or deficit of hours and on how productive this firm is. In expected terms, however, working time account reduces net job destruction at almost any level of firms’ productivity. Model predictions are consistent with dynamics of aggregate turnover in Germany during the Great Recession.

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