While the presumption may be that southern members of the eurozone are lazy, the evidence suggests otherwise, according to Societe Generale.
This chart shows the gaps in labour utilization and labour productivity eurozone members need to make up to catch up to U.S. GDP per capita. The labour utilization number measures hours worked, while the labour productivity rate measures what’s produced.
According to this chart, Portugal and Greece are actually working more than enough (negative numbers) while Germany and France need to work more (positive numbers) to make up the GDP per capita gap with the U.S.
What this shows is that France and Germany work way more efficiently than Greece or Portugal, but don’t actually work more hours. So it may not be laziness dragging Greece and Portugal down, but instead costs and other inefficiencies.
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