The aim of this paper is to understand the reasons for which the levels of employment in the hotel and catering industry are so high in the United States compared to France. Different economic factors (such as working time, consumption levels, productivity and service quality) are used to shed light on the differences in the volumes of work. But the responses given are still limited. Indeed nothing is said on the reasons why American workers accept very low wages in this particular sector, when compared to the French situation or even to the rest of the American economy. We therefore adopt a societal approach, and we show that different spaces (regulation, competition, organisation, social and family space) intervene in the explanation of the massive use of a very young labour force in the American hotel and catering industry.
Jany-Catrice.F, Socio-Économie du Travail n°23 (Économies et Sociétés, tome XXXVIII), janvier 2004, p.147-181.