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Hartz IV and the decline of German unemployment: A macroeconomic evaluation

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  • Hochmuth, Brigitte
  • Kohlbrecher, Britta
  • Merkl, Christian
  • Gartner, Hermann

Abstract

This paper proposes a new approach to evaluate the macroeconomic effects of the “Hartz IV” reform, which reduced the generosity of long-term unemployment benefits. We propose a model with different unemployment durations, where the reform initiates both a partial effect and an equilibrium effect. We estimate the relative importance of these two effects and the size of the partial effect based on the IAB Job Vacancy Survey. Our approach does not hinge on an external source for the decline in the replacement rate for long-term unemployed. We find that Hartz IV was a major driver for the decline of Germany’s steady state unemployment and that partial and equilibrium effect were of equal importance. In addition, we provide direct empirical evidence on labor selection, one potential dimension of recruiting intensity.

Suggested Citation

  • Hochmuth, Brigitte & Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian & Gartner, Hermann, 2021. "Hartz IV and the decline of German unemployment: A macroeconomic evaluation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:127:y:2021:i:c:s016518892100049x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2021.104114
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    Cited by:

    1. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Launov, Andrey & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2021. "The fall in german unemployment: A flow analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    2. Martin Biewen & Miriam Sturm, 2021. "Why a Labour Market Boom Does Not Necessarily Bring Down Inequality: Putting Together Germany’s Inequality Puzzle," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1139, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Hutter, Christian & Klinger, Sabine & Trenkler, Carsten & Weber, Enzo, 2019. "Which factors are behind Germany's labour market upswing?," IAB-Discussion Paper 201920, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. Schöb Ronnie, 2020. "Eine neue solidarische Grundsicherung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 21(2), pages 162-184, June.
    5. Ademmer, Martin & Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens & Fiedler, Salomon & Groll, Dominik & Jannsen, Nils & Kooths, Stefan & Mösle, Saskia & Potjagailo, Galina, 2018. "Deutsche Konjunktur im Winter 2018 - Aufschwung stösst an Grenzen: Belebung nur temporär [German Economy Winter 2018 - Upswing stretched to its limits: Acceleration only temporary]," Kieler Konjunkturberichte 50, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    6. Philip Jung & Anke Hassel & Robert Habeck & Matthias Knuth & Alexander Spermann & Hans Peter Grüner & Maximilian Joseph Blömer & Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl, 2019. "Reformvorschläge für den Arbeitsmarkt: Ist Hartz IV noch zukunftsfähig?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 72(06), pages 03-25, March.
    7. Lochner, Benjamin & Merkl, Christian & Stüber, Heiko & Gürtzgen, Nicole, 2021. "Recruiting intensity and hiring practices: Cross-sectional and time-series evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    8. Max Deter, 2021. "Hartz and Minds: Happiness Effects of Reforming an Employment Agency," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 1819-1838, April.
    9. Trinh, Nhat An, 2021. "The effect of social benefit reform on educational inequality," SocArXiv kpxhf, Center for Open Science.
    10. Boss, Alfred, 2019. "Überschüsse der Bundesagentur für Arbeit - Weitere Beitragssatzsenkung erforderlich," Kiel Policy Brief 124, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    11. Lochner, Ben & Merkl, Christian & Stüber, Heiko & Gürtzgen, Nicole, 2019. "A note on recruiting intensity and hiring practices: Cross-sectional and time-series evidence," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 04/2019, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    12. Anna Manzoni & Irma Mooi-Reci, 2020. "The cumulative disadvantage of unemployment: Longitudinal evidence across gender and age at first unemployment in Germany," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(6), pages 1-20, June.
    13. Carlos Carrillo-Tudela & Hermann Gartner & Leo Kaas, 2020. "Recruitment Policies, Job-Filling Rates and Matching Efficiency," CESifo Working Paper Series 8299, CESifo.
    14. Katerina Arnostova & Tomas Adam & Oxana Babecka Kucharcukova & Jan Babecky & Sona Benecka & Jan Bruha & Jan Frait & Tomas Holub & Eva Hromadkova & Lubos Komarek & Zlatuse Komarkova & Petr Kral & Ivana, 2018. "Analyses of the Czech Republic's Current Economic Alignment with the Euro Area 2018," Occasional Publications - Edited Volumes, Czech National Bank, number as18 edited by Katerina Arnostova & Lucie Matejkova, March.
    15. Gartner, Hermann & Rothe, Thomas & Weber, Enzo, 2019. "The quality-weighted matching function: Did the German labour market reforms trade of efficiency against job quality?," IAB-Discussion Paper 201924, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    16. Lea Immel, 2021. "The Impact of Labor Market Reforms on Income Inequality: Evidence from the German Hartz Reforms," ifo Working Paper Series 347, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    17. Hochmuth, Brigitte & Moyen, Stephane & Stähler, Nikolai, 2019. "Labor market reforms, precautionary savings, and global imbalances," Discussion Papers 13/2019, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    18. Mario Bossler & Nicole Gürtzgen & Alexander Kubis & Benjamin Küfner & Benjamin Lochner, 2020. "The IAB Job Vacancy Survey: design and research potential," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 54(1), pages 1-12, December.
    19. Burda Michael C. & Seele Stefanie, 2020. "Reevaluating the German labor market miracle," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 21(2), pages 139-179, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment benefits reform; Search and matching; Hartz reforms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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