The origin of International Workers' Day, celebrated yesterday in many countries, dates back to May Day 1886, when some 200,000 US workmen engineered a nationwide strike for an eight-hour day. The issues of working time continues to be relevant. The EU's working time directive states that its citizens must not be required to work more than 48 hours a week on average and in Australia, an employer must not request or require a full-time employee to work more than 38 hours a week unless the additional hours are reasonable.
Working-time autonomy, the practice that allows workers to control their work hours, is a controversial policy for worker empowerment, with concerns that range from increased shirking to excessive intensification of work. However, Michael Beckmann, in his article Working-time autonomy as a management practice, argues that it improves both employee and firm productivity.
Beckmann writes: “…empirical evidence suggest that such policies do not induce harmful overwork but boost firm productivity on average, unless incorporated into a system of family-friendly workplace practices. And even in that case, firms benefit from lower turnover and wage costs. In combining working-time autonomy with performance targets, managers should set realistic goals and avoid target ratcheting or stretch goals.” He also points out that working-time autonomy enables firms to improve their attractiveness as an employer.
IZA World of Labor has published the first in a planned series of 27 articles, each focusing on a different country and entitled "The labor market in..."
Labor and macroeconomists from each of these countries will summarize the current state of the central issues in the country's labor market: Unemployment and labor force participation, overall and by demographic group changes in real wages and wage inequality; and other country-specific labor market topics.
ILO: International Conference on Jobs and Skills Mismatch, May 11-12. This conference, held in Geneva, aims to deepen understanding of the labor market effects of various types of skill mismatch and how they can be best measured in different country contexts. It will include ILO research and also present the work of other partner international organizations.
20th IZA Summer School in Labor Economics, May 15-20. The objective of the Summer School is to bring together a large number of PhD students and senior lecturers to study new areas in labor economics. Students have the opportunity to present their work and discuss ideas with established researchers in a relaxed and open atmosphere.
Second World Congress of Comparative Economics, June 15-17. The Congress, held at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in St Petersburg, will include plenary sessions, workshops, as well as the editors’ panel and special events. There will also be a small exhibition area which will give participants the opportunity to meet with vendors who specialize in providing e-resources.
Call for papers: AIEL XXXII National Conference of Labour Economics, September 14-15. We are pleased to invite you to attend the 32nd annual Conference of the Italian Association of Labour Economists to be hosted by the Department of Economics, Statistics and Finance “Giovanni Anania” at the University of Calabria in the Arcavacata Campus in Rende (Cosenza), on September 14-15, 2017. Submission deadline: June 15.
Call for papers: 2nd IZA Workshop: The Economics of Education, September 25-27. The aim of the workshop is to gather 30 researchers working on the economics of education, in particular on the theme "Making schools work better". Submission deadline: May 31.
Call for papers:IZA Workshop: Labor and Development, October 9-10. The Program on Labor and Development is concerned with the functioning of labor markets in developing countries, with a particular focus on employment and earnings both in wage employment and in self-employment. Submission deadline: May 28.