The text aims at bringing out the role of indirect labour costs in explaining the length of the working day in a decentralized market economy. Starting with a simple model with predetermined output, the analysis is then generalized to the case where the activity of firms is endogeneous. A simple interpretation of the systematic conflict about working time is proposed. In this framework, the effects of the legal limitation of working time, sometimes intended to reduce unemployment, can be examined. Like many other studies, the results confirm, on different grounds, that the result of such interference can be disappointing or paradoxical.
CONTENSOU, F. and VRANCEANU, R. (1995). Structure de coût du travail et formation des horaires. ESSEC Business School.