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

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  • Dlugosz, Stephan
  • Stephan, Gesine
  • Wilke, Ralf A.

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 09-079.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:09079

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Keywords: unemployment incidence; policy evaluation; administrative data;

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References

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  1. Arntz, Melanie & Wilke, Ralf A., 2006. "Unemployment duration in Germany: individual and regional determinants of local job finding, migration and subsidized employment," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-92, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Puhani P-A., 2010. "The Treatment Effect, the Cross Difference, and the Interaction Term in Nonlinear “Difference-in-Differences” Models," Working Papers ERMES 1004, ERMES, University Paris 2.
  3. Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro, 2008. "How do different entitlements to unemployment benefits affect the transitions from unemployment into employment?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 206-209, December.
  4. Rafael Lalive, 2006. "How do Extended Benefits affect Unemployment Duration? A Regression Discontinuity Approach," IEW - Working Papers 294, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  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. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Arnds, Pascal & Bonin, Holger, 2002. "Frühverrentung in Deutschland: Ökonomische Anreize und institutionelle Strukturen," IZA Discussion Papers 666, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Goerke Laszlo & Pannenberg Markus, 2011. "'Take It or Go to Court': The Impact of Sec. 1a of the German Protection Against Dismissal Act on Severance Payments," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 377-404, December.
  2. Bruno Amable & Baptiste Françon, 2014. "The Effect of the Hartz Reform on Unemployment Duration and Post-Unemployment Outcomes. A Difference-in-Differences Approach," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00973884, HAL.
  3. 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.
  4. Hanel, Barbara, 2012. "The effect of disability pension incentives on early retirement decisions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 595-607.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  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. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. Barbara Hanel, 2010. "Disability Pensions and Labor Supply," Working Papers 086, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).

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