Sunday, March 1, 2009

France did that too, and we laughed

Today's Times has an article about reductions in the workweek, and in work intensity more generally, that may be a result of the downturn. An interesting nugget is that Kellogg reduced weekly hours to 30 during the Great Depression.

Among those still employed, work intensity typically falls anyway during recessions. It's surely one of the reasons why population health temporarily improves during economic bad times. I think much of the reduction in hours probably occurs among salaried workers and people who usually work overtime. Mandating a reduced workweek, as apparently Kellogg did, is the kind of thing that the entire OECD chastised France for doing back in the late 1990s.