Business Case Studies, Macroeconomics Case Study, The French 35-hour Workweek

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Case Title:

The French 35-hour Workweek

Publication Year : 2004

Authors: Kanko Ganguly, T Phani Madhav

Industry: General Business

Region:FRANCE

Case Code: MEBE0015

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Abstract: In 1997, French government passed a legislation bringing down the official workweek from 39 to 35 hours. The legislation was driven by the government's belief that reduced work time and a cap on overtime would allow them to distribute jobs over the populace and thereby reduce unemployment levels. Though the initial results were encouraging, there were certain industries that started to feel that the legislation was against their interests. Voices of dissent began to escalate when unemployment levels shot up between 2002 and 2003. Intense debates over the usefulness of the 35-hour workweek raised doubts about its continuation.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To study the different types of unemployment
  • To understand the impact of unemployment on an economy
  • To analyse about the effectiveness of the 35-hour workweek policy.

Keywords : 35-hour workweek; Unemployment; Recession; Geographical bias; Layoffs; Overtime; Economic development; Productivity; Job creation

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