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Arbeitsmarktpolitik: falsche Anreize vermeiden, Fehlentwicklungen korrigieren

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Author Info

  • Karl Brenke
  • Werner Eichhorst

Abstract

The comprehensive labour market reform package implemented between 2003 and 2005 has made the German labour market more flexible. Today, there is need to fine-tune some of the reforms and correct the institutional set-up in order to eliminate some unintended side-effects. The current federal government, however, considers a number of reforms which point in the wrong direction. This is particularly true for an expansion of the benefit disregard clauses in means-tested minimum income support ('Hartz IV') and a further increase of the threshold below which marginal part-time jobs are exempt from employee social contributions and income taxes. This type of jobs tends to undermine tax and social insurance revenues and distorts the functioning of the labour market since in can be shown that they displace regular employment covered by taxation and social insurance. Hence, as a consequence, they should rather be eliminated. More generous earnings disregard clauses, on the other side, would imply a significant increase in the number of unemployment support beneficiaries topping-up their benefits through part-time or marginal jobs. This, in turn, tends to prolong benefit dependency and reduces the odds of leaving the income support schemes. Regarding the regulation of the labour market in Germany, there is no need to re- or de-regulation fixed-term contracts. With respect to low pay, a general, but moderate statutory minimum wage would be a better alternative to sectoral, collectively agreed minimum wages made generally binding through extension. Last, but not least, since temporary agency work has established itself as a specific segment of the labour market with longer assignments and a significant wage differential to regular employment, there is some need to revise the rules governing temporary agency work. Nach den umfassenden Reformen in den Jahren 2003 bis 2005, die erheblich zur Flexibilisierung des Arbeitsmarktes beigetragen haben, besteht der Reformbedarf nun im Wesentlichen in der Nachjustierung einzelner Maßnahmen und der Korrektur politikbedingter Fehlentwicklungen. Die Bundesregierung erwägt gemäß Koalitionsvertrag allerdings Reformen, die in die falsche Richtung weisen. Das gilt insbesondere für die Erhöhung der anrechnungsfreien Hinzuverdienste von Hartz-IV-Empfängern und die Ausweitung der Vergünstigungen bei den Mini- und Midijobs. Solche Beschäftigungsverhältnisse schwächen allerdings die Einnahmebasis bei den Steuern und Sozialversicherungen, führen zu Wettbewerbsverzerrungen auf dem Arbeitsmarkt und können reguläre, sozialversicherungspflichtige Beschäftigung verdrängen. Sie sind systemwidrig und gehören deshalb abgeschafft. Die Ausweitung der Hinzuverdienstmöglichkeiten der Hartz-IV-Empfänger hätte zur Folge, dass die Zahl der Leistungsempfänger steigt und dass es für manche davon attraktiver wird, im Leistungsbezug zu verharren. Überdies geht es den meisten Hilfebeziehern nicht um Hinzuverdienste, sondern um eine auskömmliche Erwerbstätigkeit. Kein Reformbedarf besteht bei der Befristung von Arbeitsverträgen. Mit Blick auf den Niedriglohnsektor sind moderate gesetzliche Mindestlöhne gegenüber tarifvertraglich vereinbarten Branchenlösungen die bessere Alternative, weil dadurch Wettbewerbsverzerrungen vermieden werden. Nachbesserungen sind bei der Zeitarbeit erforderlich, da ein Arbeitsmarktsegment entstanden ist, das nicht nur der Abfederung wechselnder Arbeitskräftenachfrage dient. Überdies wird die berufliche Mobilität der Zeitarbeitnehmer zu sehr eingeschränkt.

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File URL: http://ejournals.duncker-humblot.de/doi/pdf/10.3790/vjh.79.1.56
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

Volume (Year): 79 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 56-84

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Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:79-1-5

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Keywords: Labour market reforms; Germany; unemployment support; low-wage employment;

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