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Distributional Consequences of Labor-demand Shocks: The 2008-09 Recession in Germany

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Author Info

  • Olivier Bargain
  • Herwig Immervoll
  • Andreas Peichl
  • Sebastian Siegloch

Abstract

The distributional consequences of the recent economic crisis are still broadly unknown. While it is possible to speculate which groups are likely to be hardest-hit, detailed distributional studies are still largely backward-looking due to a lack of real-time microdata. This paper studies the distributional and fiscal implications of output changes in Germany 2008-09, using data available prior to the economic downturn. We first estimate labor demand on 12 years of detailed, administrative matched employer-employee data. The distributional analysis is then conducted by transposing predicted employment effects of actual output shocks to household-level microdata. A scenario in which labor demand adjustments occur at the intensive margin (hour changes), close to the German experience, shows less severe effects on income distribution compared to a situation where adjustments take place through massive layoffs. Adjustments at the intensive margin are also preferable from a fiscal point of view. In this context we discuss the cushioning effect of the tax-benefit system and the conditions under which German-style work-sharing policies can be successful in other countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3403.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3403

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Keywords: labor demand; output shock; tax-benefit system; crisis; income distribution;

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References

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  1. Diewert, Walter E & Wales, Terence J, 1987. "Flexible Functional Forms and Global Curvature Conditions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 43-68, January.
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  6. Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2012. "Accounting for labor demand effects in structural labor supply models," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 129-138.
  7. Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2012. "Automatic stabilizers and economic crisis: US vs. Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 279-294.
  8. Cahuc, Pierre & Carcillo, Stéphane, 2011. "Is Short-time Work a Good Method to Keep Unemployment Down?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  11. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Leite, Phillippe G. & Pereira da Silva, Luiz A. & Picchetti, Paulo, 2004. "Can the distributional impacts of macroeconomic shocks be predicted? A comparison of the performance of macro-micro models with historical data for Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3303, The World Bank.
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  17. repec:ese:iserwp:2009-02 is not listed on IDEAS
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Boeters, Stefan & Savard, Luc, 2013. "The Labor Market in Computable General Equilibrium Models," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
  2. Stefan Boeters & Luc Savard, 2011. "The Labour Market in CGE Models," Cahiers de recherche 11-20, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
  3. Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2010. "Accounting for Labor Demand Effects in Structural Labor Supply Models," IZA Discussion Papers 5350, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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