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Start-up subsidies in East Germany: finally, a policy that works?

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  • Marco Caliendo

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to estimate the effectiveness of two start-up programs (bridging allowance and start-up subsidy) in East Germany. Design/methodology/approach – Using a combination of administrative data from the Federal Employment Agency and a follow-up survey (for roughly 1,300/1,000 participants/non-participants), the analysis is based on the conditional independence assumption. Kernel matching estimators are applied to estimate the treatment effects and test the sensitivity of the results using a conditional difference-in-differences approach. Findings – At the end of the observation period both programs are effective: unemployment rates of participants are lower, and employment rates and personal income are higher when compared to non-participants. Additionally, first descriptive evidence of the additional employment effects through direct job creation is presented, which is quite significant for the bridging allowance and negligible for participants in the start-up subsidy. Research limitations/implications – Participants in the start-up subsidy are in their third year of participation at the end of the observation period and mostly still receive further support (although at a reduced rate). Therefore, the results for this program have to be treated as preliminary. Practical implications – In contrast to other active labor market programs that have been evaluated recently (including job-creation schemes and vocational training programs) this paper finds considerable positive effects for start-up subsidies. Hence, programs aimed at turning the unemployed into entrepreneurs may be a promising strategy in East Germany. Originality/value – This is one of the first studies that allows inferences to be drawn about the effectiveness of start-up programs in East Germany. Most previous studies on the effectiveness of active labour market policies in the Eastern part of Germany neglected these programs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): 7 (November)
Pages: 625-647

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:30:y:2009:i:7:p:625-647

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Related research

Keywords: Business formation; Germany; Self employed workers; Subsidies;

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References

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  1. Marco Caliendo & Viktor Steiner, 2005. "Aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland: Bestandsaufnahme und Bewertung der mikroökonomischen Evaluationsergebnisse," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 515, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Imbens, Guido & Abadie, Alberto, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Scholarly Articles 3043415, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Marco Caliendo & Alexander S. Kritikos, 2009. "Die reformierte Gründungsförderung für Arbeitslose - Chancen und Risiken," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(2), pages 189-213, 05.
  5. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "How Robust is the Evidence on the Effects of College Quality? Evidence From Matching," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20033, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  6. Biewen, Martin & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Osikominu, Aderonke & Waller, Marie, 2007. "Which Program for Whom? Evidence on the Comparative Effectiveness of Public Sponsored Training Programs in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-042, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Marco Caliendo & Alexander Kritikos, 2010. "Start-ups by the unemployed: characteristics, survival and direct employment effects," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 71-92, July.
  8. Baumgartner, Hans J. & Caliendo, Marco, 2007. "Turning Unemployment into Self-Employment: Effectiveness and Efficiency of Two Start-Up Programmes," IZA Discussion Papers 2660, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Fredriksson, Peter & Johansson, Per, 2004. "Dynamic Treatment Assignment – The Consequences for Evaluations Using Observational Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1062, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. DiNardo, John & Tobias, Justin, 2001. "Nonparametric Density and Regression Estimation," Staff General Research Papers 12020, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  11. Caliendo, Marco & Hujer, Reinhard & Thomsen, Stephan Lothar, 2005. "The Employment Effects of Job Creation Schemes in Germany: A Microeconometric Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 1512, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  13. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  14. Caliendo, Marco & Hujer, Reinhard, 2005. "The Microeconometric Estimation of Treatment Effects - An Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 1653, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Jose C. GALDO & Jeffrey SMITH & Dan BLACK, 2008. "Bandwidth Selection and the Estimation of Treatment Effects with Unbalanced Data," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 91-92, pages 189-216.
  16. Caliendo, Marco & Kopeinig, Sabine, 2005. "Some Practical Guidance for the Implementation of Propensity Score Matching," IZA Discussion Papers 1588, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  18. Y Georgellis & J G Sessions & N Tsitsianis, 2005. "Self-Employment Longitudinal Dynamics: A Review of the Literature," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 10(2), pages 51-84, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marco Caliendo & Jens Hogenacker, 2012. "The German labor market after the Great Recession: successful reforms and future challenges," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-24, December.
  2. Heyer, Gerd & Koch, Susanne & Stephan, Gesine & Wolff, Joachim, 2012. "Evaluation der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik: Ein Sachstandsbericht für die Instrumentenreform 2011 (Evaluation of active labor market programs : a summary of recent results for the German program refo," Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 45(1), pages 41-62.
  3. Magnus Lofstrom, 2013. "Does self-employment increase the economic well-being of low-skilled workers?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 933-952, May.
  4. Gerd Heyer & Susanne Koch & Gesine Stephan & Joachim Wolff, 2012. "Evaluation der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik: Ein Sachstandsbericht für die Instrumentenreform 2011," Journal of Labour Market Research, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 41-62, March.
  5. Caliendo, Marco, 2009. "Income support systems, labor market policies and labor supply: the German experience," Working Paper Series 2009:26, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

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