Are Europeans Lazy? or Americans Crazy?

Are Europeans Lazy? or Americans Crazy?

VIII European Conference

27 May 2006


The annual European Conference of the Fondazione Debenedetti took place in Portovenere, on 27th May 2006 under the title Are Europeans Lazy? Or Americans Crazy?. Two different papers, prepared by two research teams were presented during the Conference.

The first paper: Different but Equal: Total Work, Gender and Social Norms in the EU and US Time Use (presentation, outline) was prepared by Micheal Burda (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin), Daniel S. Hamermesh (University of Texas at Austin) and Philippe Weil (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles).
In this report the authors, after explaining the concept of leisure and pointing out the risks of time use data, compare the different use of time among Americans and Europeans.

Alberto Alesina (Harvard University) and Christopher Pissarides (London School of Economics) acted as discussants for the first report.

The second paper: Labour Market Effects of Work-Sharing Arrangements in Europe (presentation, outline) was prepared by Francis Kramarz (ENSAE, France), Pierre Cahuc (ENSAE, France), Bruno Crépon (ENSAE, France), Thorsten Schank (Universität Erlangen, Nürnberg), Oskar Nordstrom Skans (IFAU – Office of Labour Market Policy Evaluation) and Gijsbert van Lomwel (CentER, Tilburg University).
In this report the authors analyze the diversity of work sharing agreements, the different roles of part-time and other institutional arrangements concerning working hours. The paper analyses data from various European countries (such as France, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany) to study the effects of these different types of work agreements on employment, stress, health.

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

In the final part of the Conference Olivier Blanchard (MIT), Steve Nickell (London School of Economics) and Guido Tabellini (Bocconi University and IGIER) summarized the key findings of the two reports.

The conference was introduced by Prof. Tito Boeri.

Press release (in Italian only).

The proceedings of the conference had been collected in a volume published by Oxford University Press.