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Fixing the leak: Unemployment incidence before and after the 2006 reform of unemployment benefits in Germany

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  • Stephan Dlugosz
  • Gesine Stephan
  • Ralf A. Wilke

Abstract

From 2002–2004, the German government passed several laws that curtailed the generosity of the unemployment compensation system. One of the most ambitious changes was a considerable reduction in unemployment benefit entitlement lengths for older unemployed, which was effective during 2006 and 2007. We apply a difference-in-differences approach to show that the highly disputed reform induced a considerable decline in unemployment incidence among older workers. It thus sealed an important leak in the unemployment insurance system. Furthermore, we find a strong anticipation effect; unemployment entries of elderly workers peaked during the months preceding the reform.

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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 09/10.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notecp:09/10

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Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
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Web page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/economics/
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Keywords: unemployment incidence; policy evaluation; administrative data;

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References

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  1. Hennighausen, Tanja & Bischoff, Ivo & Heinemann, Friedrich, 2009. "Choosing from the Reform Menu Card: Individual Determinants of Labour Market Policy Preferences," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-004, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Elke J. Jahn, 2009. "Do firms obey the law when they fire workers? Social criteria and severance payments in Germany," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(7), pages 672-691, November.
  3. Arnds, Pascal & Bonin, Holger, 2002. "Frühverrentung in Deutschland: Ökonomische Anreize und institutionelle Strukturen," IZA Discussion Papers 666, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Lalive, Rafael, 2006. "How Do Extended Benefits Affect Unemployment Duration? A Regression Discontinuity Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2200, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
  6. Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro, 2007. "How Do Different Entitlements to Unemployment Benefits Affect the Transitions from Unemployment into Employment?," IZA Discussion Papers 3016, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "Benefit duration and unemployment entry: A quasi-experiment in Austria," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 259-273, April.
  8. Rafael Lalive, 2007. "Unemployment Benefits, Unemployment Duration, and Post-Unemployment Jobs: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 108-112, May.
  9. Puhani, Patrick A., 2012. "The treatment effect, the cross difference, and the interaction term in nonlinear “difference-in-differences” models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 85-87.
  10. Knut Gerlach & David Levine & Gesine Stephan & Olaf Struck, 2008. "Fairness and the employment contract: North American regions versus Germany," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 421-439, May.
  11. Melanie Arntz & Ralf Wilke, 2009. "Unemployment Duration in Germany: Individual and Regional Determinants of Local Job Finding, Migration and Subsidized Employment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 43-61.
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Cited by:
  1. Bernhard Boockmann & Jan Fries & Christian Göbel, 2012. "Specific Measures for Older Employees and Late Career Employment," IAW Discussion Papers 89, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  2. Lo, Simon M.S. & Stephan, Gesine & Wilke, Ralf, 2012. "Estimating the Latent Effect of Unemployment Benefits on Unemployment Duration," IZA Discussion Papers 6650, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2010. "'Take it or Go to Court' - The Impact of Sec. 1a of the German Protection against Dismissal Act on Severance Payments -," CESifo Working Paper Series 3120, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Dietz, Martin & Walwei, Ulrich, 2011. "Germany - no country for old workers?," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 44(4), pages 363-376.
  5. Bruno Amable & Baptiste Françon, 2014. "The Effect of the Hartz Reform on Unemployment Duration and Post-Unemployment Outcomes. A Difference-in-Differences Approach," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14020, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  6. Barbara Hanel, 2010. "Disability Pensions and Labor Supply," Working Papers 086, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
  7. Emma Tominey, 2013. "Maternity Leave and the Responsiveness of Female Labor Supply to a Household Shock," Discussion Papers 13/11, Department of Economics, University of York.
  8. Emma Tominey, 2013. "Maternity Leave and the Responsiveness of Female Labor Supply to a Household Shock," Working Papers 2013-016, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  9. Kloß, Michael & Nagl, Wolfgang, 2013. "Unemployment compensation and unemployment duration - Evidence from the German Hartz IV reform," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79711, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  10. Hanel, Barbara, 2012. "The effect of disability pension incentives on early retirement decisions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 595-607.

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