March 2017

IZA DP No. 10660: Working Time Accounts and Turnover

substantially revised version published in: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2021, 123 (3), 1025 - 1056

Working time account is an organization tool that allows firms smoothing their demand for hours employed. Descriptive literature suggests that working time accounts reduce turnover and inhibit increase in unemployment during recessions. In a model of optimal choice of hours by a firm I show that working time account does not necessarily guarantee lower turnover. Turnover may be reduced or increased depending on whether a firm meets economic downturn with surplus or deficit of hours and on how productive this firm is. The model predicts that working time accounts contributed positively to reducing turnover in Germany during the Great Recession.