The German Labour Market Miracle
AbstractThis paper lays out the various reasons for the exceptional performance of the German labour market during and after the Great Recession of 2008/9. The reference point of our analysis is provided by an empirical model of both total hours worked and employment. We conduct dynamic simulations of the crisis period to assess how surprising the reaction of the labour market really was. We argue that the most important precondition for the minor reaction of employment during this crisis was the pronounced wage moderation observed in the years before, which constitutes a distinct difference to all other recessions in Germany. Beyond that, the flexibility of adjusting working time, which has increased considerably during the past ten years, facilitated a tendency to labour hoarding. In contrast, short-time work plays a minor role in explaining the difference from previous recessions, since this instrument has always been available to firms in Germany and its use has not been extraordinary compared with earlier recessions.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by National Institute of Economic and Social Research in its journal National Institute Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 214 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
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Labour market; Great Recession; employment; wage moderation; short-time work;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution
- E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
- J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
- J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
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- Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2011.
"What Explains the German Labor Market Miracle in the Great Recession,"
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,
Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 273-335.
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- Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2011. "What Explains the German Labor Market Miracle in the Great Recession?," NBER Working Papers 17187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens & Gern, Klaus-Jürgen & Jannsen, Nils & Plödt, Martin & Van Roye, Björn & Scheide, Joachim & Schwarzmüller, Tim & Groll, Dominik & Kooths, Stefan, 2011. "Weltkonjunktur und deutsche Konjunktur im Winter 2011," Kiel Discussion Papers 498/499, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
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- Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens, 2013. "Wie der Staat 2010 bis 2012 konsolidiert hat," Kiel Policy Brief 62, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
- Alexander Herzog-Stein & Fabian Lindner & Simon Sturn, 2013. "Explaining the German Employment Miracle in the Great Recession – The Crucial Role of Temporary Working Time Reductions," IMK Working Paper 114-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
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