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Macroeconomic Evaluation of Labor Market Reform in Germany

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  • Krebs, Tom
  • Scheffel, Martin

Abstract

In 2005 the German government implemented the so-called Hartz IV reform, which amounted to a complete overhaul of the German unemployment insurance system and resulted in a significant reduction in unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. In this paper, we use an incomplete-market model with search unemployment to evaluate the macro-economic and welfare effects of the Hartz IV reform. We calibrate the model economy to German data before the reform and then use the calibrated model economy to simulate the effects of Hartz IV. In our baseline calibration, we find that the reform has reduced the long-run (noncyclical)unemployment rate in Germany by 1.4 percentage points. We also find that the welfare of employed households increases, but the welfare of unemployed households decreases even with moderate degree of risk aversion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Mannheim, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 12-23.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:mnh:wpaper:32929

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Web page: http://www2.vwl.uni-mannheim.de/10.1.html
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Keywords: Labor Market Reform ; Unemployment ; Welfare;

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References

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Productivity Gains from Unemployment Insurance," Working papers 99-29, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Hansen, Gary D & Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 118-42, February.
  3. Andrey LAUNOV & Klaus WALDE, 2010. "Estimating Incentive and Welfare Effects of Non-Stationary Unemployment Benefits," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2010020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  4. Jochen Kluve & Lena Jacobi, 2006. "Before and After the Hartz Reforms: The Performance of Active Labour Market Policy in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 0041, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
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  7. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hunt, Jennifer, 1995. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 88-120, January.
  9. John T. Addison & Mário Centeno & Pedro Portugal, 2008. "Unemployment Benefits and Reservation Wages: Key Elasticities from a Stripped-Down Job Search Approach," Working Papers w200803, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  10. 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.
  11. René Fahr & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed-Up the Matching Process? A Macro-Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 284-316, 08.
  12. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1995. "The European unemployment dilemma," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  13. Philip, Jung & Moritz, Kuhn, 2011. "The Era of the U.S.-Europe Labor Market Divide: What can we learn?," MPRA Paper 32322, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln & Dirk Krueger & Mathias Sommer, 2009. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," NBER Working Papers 15059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  16. Rasmus Lentz, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in an Estimated Job Search Model with Savings," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 37-57, January.
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  18. Romain Bouis & Orsetta Causa & Lilas Demmou & Romain Duval & Aleksandra Zdzienicka, 2012. "The Short-Term Effects of Structural Reforms: An Empirical Analysis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 949, OECD Publishing.
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  21. Krause, Michael U. & Uhlig, Harald, 2012. "Transitions in the German labor market: Structure and crisis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 64-79.
  22. Streufert, Peter A, 1990. "Stationary Recursive Utility and Dynamic Programming under the Assumption of Biconvergence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 79-97, January.
  23. Fahr, René & Sunde, Uwe, 2009. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed-Up the Matching Process? A Macro-Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," Munich Reprints in Economics 20482, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Launov, Andrey & Wälde, Klaus, 2013. "Thumbscrews for Agencies or for Individuals? How to Reduce Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 7659, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Giammario Impullitti & Julien Prat, 2014. "Firm Dynamics and Residual Inequality in Open Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 4666, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Berthold, Norbert & Coban, Mustafa, 2014. "Kombilöhne gegen Erwerbsarmut: Warum die USA erfolgreicher sind als Deutschland," Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Beiträge 125, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insbes. Wirtschaftsordnung und Sozialpolitik.
  4. Amélie Barbier-Gauchard & Francesco de Palma & Giuseppe Diana, 2013. "Why could Northern labor market flexibility save the eurozone?," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2013-08, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg (France).
  5. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2013. "Unemployment in the great recession," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51546, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Claudia Busl & Atilim Seymen, 2013. "(Spillover) Effects of Labour Market Reforms in Germany and France," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 8, WWWforEurope.
  7. Busl, Claudia & Seymen, Atılım, 2013. "The German labour market reforms in a European context: A DSGE analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-097, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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