Working time regulation, unequal lifetimes and fairness

Abstract : We examine the redistributive impact of working time regulations in an economy with unequal lifetimes. We first compare the laissez-faire equilibrium with the ex post egalitarian optimum, where the realized lifetime well-being of the worst off (usually the short-lived) is maximized, and show that, unlike the laissez-faire, this social optimum involves an increasing working time age profile and equalizes the realized lifetime well-being of the short-lived and the long-lived. We then examine whether working time regulations can compensate the short-lived. It is shown that uniform working time regulations cannot improve the situation of the short-lived with respect to the laissez-faire, and can only reduce well-being inequalities at the cost of making the short-lived worse off. However, age-specific regulations involving lower working time for the young and higher working time for the old make the short-lived better off, even though such regulations may not fully eradicate well-being inequalities.
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Journal articles
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Submitted on : Monday, October 1, 2018 - 11:15:27 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 4, 2019 - 1:37:20 AM

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Marie-Louise Leroux, Grégory Ponthière. Working time regulation, unequal lifetimes and fairness. Social Choice and Welfare, Springer Verlag, 2018, 51 (3), pp.437 - 464. ⟨10.1007/s00355-018-1123-7⟩. ⟨halshs-01885476⟩

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