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Volume 72, Issue 4


Was a One Hour Adjustment in Georgian Public Sector Working Hours ‘Family Friendly’ and Did It Increase Female Labor Participation?

Abramishvili, Zurab; Appleman, William; Bezhanishvili, Levan

Year: 2022   Volume: 72   Issue: 4   Pages: 382-420

Abstract: This paper evaluates a one-time, immediate policy initiative enacted by the Republic of Georgia that shifted public office operating hours from 10:00-19:00 to 9:00-18:00, which affected the work schedules of government employees. Although the policy affected approximately 200,000 employees, it has never been evaluated; and to our knowledge, nor has any similar policy in any economic literature. In the paper, we examine how the policy impacts gender inequality through female labor participation. Given that the policy did not affect the private sector, we employ a difference-in-differences approach using the National Statistics Office of Georgia Households Incomes and Expenditures Survey from 2013-2016. We find that the policy primarily produces a significant reduction in the average level of working hours of full-time employees with children, directly in line with the prediction following the gender similarity model. We also find a significant increase in average work hour engagement by women without children. However, the placebo effect analysis identifies this as an already existing trend and the short-term analysis indicates that this is an ordinal reaction to the reduction of engagement by full-time employees with children.

JEL classification: I38, J21, J22, J23

Keywords: policy evaluation, working hours, gender inequality, work-family conflict, female labor participation

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32065/CJEF.2022.04.04

RePEc: https://ideas.repec.org/a/fau/fauart/v72y2022i4p382-420.html

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