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Before and After the Hartz Reforms: The Performance of Active Labour Market Policy in Germany

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  • Jochen Kluve

    ()

  • Lena Jacobi

    ()

Abstract

Having faced high unemployment rates for more than a decade, the German government implemented a comprehensive set of labour market reforms during the period 2003-2005. This paper describes the economic and institutional context of the German labour market before and after these so-called Hartz reforms.Focussing on active policy measures,we delineate the rationale for reform and its main principles.As results of programme evaluation studies post-reform have become available just now, we give a first assessment of the effectiveness of key elements of German ALMP before and after the Hartz reforms. The evidence indicates that the re-organisation of public employment services was mainly successful, with the exception of the outsourcing of services. Re-designing training programmes seems to have improved their effectiveness, while job creation schemes continue to be detrimental for participants’ employment prospects. Wage subsidies and start-up subsidies show significantly positive effects.On balance, therefore, the reform seems to be moving the German labour market in the right direction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung in its series RWI Discussion Papers with number 0041.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:dpaper:0041

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Keywords: Active labour market policy; labour market reform; programme evaluation; Hartz laws;

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  1. Lechner, Michael & Miquel, Ruth & Wunsch, Conny, 2005. "The curse and blessing of training the unemployed in a changing economy : the case of East Germany after unification," IAB Discussion Paper 200514, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  2. Michael Lechner & Ruth Miquel & Conny Wunsch, 2004. "Long-run Effects of Public Sector Sponsored Training in West Germany," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-19, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  3. Speckesser, Stefan & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Bergemann, Annette, 2004. "Evaluating the Dynamic Employment Effects of Training Programs in East Germany Using Conditional Difference-in-Differences," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-41, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Speckesser, Stefan, 2005. "Employment Effects of the Provision of Specific Professional Skills and Techniques in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1868, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Conny Wunsch, 2005. "Labour Market Policy in Germany: Institutions, Instruments and Reforms since Unification," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2005 2005-06, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  6. Eva Reinowski & Birgit Schultz & Jürgen Wiemers, 2005. "Evaluation of Further Training Programmes with an Optimal Matching Algorithm," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(IV), pages 585-616, December.
  7. 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).
  8. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Reize, Frank, 2000. "Business start-ups by the unemployed -- an econometric analysis based on firm data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 629-663, September.
  9. 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.
  10. Michael Fertig & Jochen Kluve, 2004. "A Conceptual Framework for the Evaluation of Comprehensive Labor Market Policy Reforms in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 0013, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  11. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "An Evaluation of Public-Sector-Sponsored Continuous Vocational Training Programs in East Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 93, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Eva Reinowski & Birgit Schultz & Jürgen Wiemers, 2003. "Evaluation von Maßnahmen der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik mit Hilfe eines iterativen Matching-Algorithmus - Eine Fallstudie über langzeitarbeitslose Maßnahmeteilnehmer in Sachsen," IWH Discussion Papers 173, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  13. Reinhard Hujer & Uwe Blien & Marco Caliendo & Christopher Zeiss, 2006. "Macroeconometric Evaluation of Active Labour Market Policies in Germany. A Dynamic Panel Approach Using Regional Data," AIEL Series in Labour Economics, in: Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Sergio Destefanis (ed.), The European Labour Market. Regional Dimensions, edition 1, chapter 14, pages 287-309 AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.
  14. Eichler, Martin & Lechner, Michael, 1999. "An Evaluation of Public Employment Programmes in the East German State of Sachsen-Anhalt," IZA Discussion Papers 94, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Earnings and Employment Effects of Continuous Off-the-Job Training in East Germany after Unification," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 74-90, January.
  16. Hagen, Tobias, 2003. "Three Approaches to the Evaluation of Active Labour Market Policy in East Germany Using Regional Data," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-27, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  17. Hujer, Reinhard & Thomsen, Stephan Lothar & Zeiss, Christopher, 2004. "The Effects of Vocational Training Programmes on the Duration of Unemployment in Eastern Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1117, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Fertig, Michael & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schneider, Hilmar, 2002. "Active Labor Market Policy in Germany – Is There a Successful Policy Strategy?," IZA Discussion Papers 576, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Franz, Wolfgang, 2000. "Neues von der NAIRU?," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-41, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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