Are Europeans Lazy? Or Americans Crazy?

Are Europeans Lazy? Or Americans Crazy?

VIII European Conference

27th May 2006


The eighth European Conference of the Fondazione Ing. Rodolfo Debenedetti, held on 27 May 2006 in Portovenere, dealt with Are Europeans Lazy? Or Americans Crazy?. The discussion was based on two reports prepared by groups of experts under the supervision of the Foundation.

The first group, consisting of Michael Burda (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin), Daniel S. Hamermesh (University of Texas at Austin) and Philippe Weil (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles), presented the report on Different but Equal: Total Hours of Work, Gender Differences and Social Behaviour in Time Use in Europe and the United States, (summary) in which the authors analysed the different use of time in Europe and the United States.

Alberto Alesina (Harvard University) and Christopher Pissarides (London School of Economics) were the discussants of this first report.

The second panel, consisting of Francis Kramarz (ENSAE, France), Pierre Cahuc (ENSAE, France), Bruno Crépon (ENSAE, France), Gijsbert van Lomwel (CentER, Tilburg University), Thorsten Schank (Universität Erlangen, Nürnberg) and Oskar Nordstrom Skans (IFAU – Office of Labour Market Policy Evaluation) presented the report Labour market effects of working time reductions in Europe, (presentation, summary) in which the authors analysed institutional arrangements on working time in several European countries.

Giuseppe Nicoletti (OECD) and Jan van Ours (Tilburg University) discussed this second report.

At the end of the conference, a panel discussion was held with Olivier Blanchard (MIT), Steve Nickell (London School of Economics) and Guido Tabellini (Bocconi University and IGIER) summarising the main findings of the two reports.

The conference was introduced by Tito Boeri.

The two reports were published by Oxford University Press.