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The German Unemployment Compensation System: Effects on Aggregate Savings and Wealth Distribution

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  • Heer, Burkhard

Abstract

The effects of the German unemployment compensation system on aggregate savings and the distribution of wealth are studied in a general equilibrium 60-period OLG model. The distribution of wealth is derived as an endogenous function of the parameters characterizing the unemployment compensation system, which comprises unemployment insurance (Arbeitslosengeld), unemployment assistance (Arbeitslosenhilfe), and welfare payments (Sozialhilfe), the latter two being subject to a means test. As our main results: (i) both aggregate savings and wealth equality are a monotone decreasing function of unemployment benefits; (ii) optimal unemployment compensation declines over the spell of unemployment; (iii) asset-based means tests are shown to reduce welfare if the allowable wealth level is below the average wealth in the economy. Copyright 2002 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

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  • Heer, Burkhard, 2002. "The German Unemployment Compensation System: Effects on Aggregate Savings and Wealth Distribution," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 371-394, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:48:y:2002:i:3:p:371-94
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    Cited by:

    1. Burkhard Heer & Albrecht Morgenstern, 2005. "The Labor Market Effects of Indexing Unemployment Benefits to Previous Earnings," Public Finance Review, , vol. 33(3), pages 385-402, May.
    2. Burkhard Heer, 2006. "Should Unemployment Benefits Be Related to Previous Earnings?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(4), pages 530-550, December.

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