Bryan Caplan and David Henderson  

French Labour Markets

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Tyler provides further evidence that there are serious problems in French labour markets...

A clerk will spend half an hour "helping" a customer. I wait and wait. (It is worse than the Falls Church Public Library.) I do not understand their conversations. Did in fact Sartre grasp Heidegger's critique of phenomenology, and what does that mean for the purchase of a cell phone? The question has not been resolved.

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CATEGORIES: Labor Market



COMMENTS (4 to date)
dsquared writes:

In what way is this a problem in French labour markets? What evidence have you got against the alternative hypothesis that this represents value added for the French customer, and that the French retail sector operates in this way because the French retail customer likes it? Do you think a French economist would pick up a blog post about ignorant sales assistants and say "evidence that there are serious problems in American labour markets"?

matthew writes:

I think the point is that the entrenched job security leads to many people not doing their job. I have no idea what they talked about for half an hour, but I doubt she was doing her job when it might have turned away many other customers and revenue for her employer.

Eric Crampton writes:

Matthew's point is one tack at it.

A second: if the labour market weren't so constrained, wouldn't it be likely that the Sartre guy would be hired doing something other than shop assistant? Sure, the customer might be happy having the half-hour chat, but surely the guy's marginal product would be higher elsewhere.

Johan Richter writes:

Based on anecdotal evidence I can say that most Swedes visiting the US are negatively suprised
by the low quality of service in stores.

Also, I interpreted Tyler as joking when he descirbed them talking about Sartre and Heidegger. Really, how plausible does it sound?

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