Why a fixed Work-Week? Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2009

start page

  • 790

end page

  • 798


  • 5


  • 38

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1053-5357

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1239


  • The main goal of this article is to explain why the fixed workweek appeared. To this purpose we differentiate between "jobs" and "hours per job". We consider an economy where hours and number of workers are substitutes in production but in which hiring a worker entails a fixed cost plus a variable cost per hour worked. As a consequence, firms would like workers to work as many hours as possible. In an unregulated economy, workers work more hours that they would like to at the on-going wage rate. This situation characterizes the economy of today's industrialized countries in the 19th century