IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/eecrev/v113y2019icp108-135.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Labor market reforms: An evaluation of the Hartz policies in Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Bradley, Jake
  • Kügler, Alice

Abstract

How do workers and firms respond to comprehensive labor market reforms? We use detailed micro data to analyze the German Hartz Reforms through the lens of a structural model of the labor market. These reforms aimed at reducing unemployment, by increasing working hour flexibility, job matching and work incentives. In our setting, reforms directly affect the model parameters, which are estimated using matched data on 430,000 workers in 340,000 firms. Contrary to previous findings, our analysis shows that, although the reforms shortened the typical duration of unemployment, they did not reduce unemployment as a whole and led to a decline in wages. Low-skilled workers suffered the most in terms of employment and wage losses. Furthermore, we decompose the contribution of each reform wave to employment and wage changes, finding that the reduction in generosity of unemployment benefits was the principle driver in reducing wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Bradley, Jake & Kügler, Alice, 2019. "Labor market reforms: An evaluation of the Hartz policies in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 108-135.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:113:y:2019:i:c:p:108-135
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2018.12.008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014292119300029
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:50:y:2018:i:c:p:3-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jeremy Lise & Jean-Marc Robin, 2017. "The Macrodynamics of Sorting between Workers and Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1104-1135, April.
    3. Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2013. "Estimating Incentive And Welfare Effects Of Nonstationary Unemployment Benefits," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 1159-1198, November.
    4. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
    5. David Card & Jörg Heining & Patrick Kline, 2013. "Workplace Heterogeneity and the Rise of West German Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 967-1015.
    6. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "Wage Bargaining with On-the-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 323-364, March.
    7. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2016. "The Cyclicality of the Opportunity Cost of Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(6), pages 1563-1618.
    8. Krause, Michael U. & Uhlig, Harald, 2012. "Transitions in the German labor market: Structure and crisis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 64-79.
    9. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Hélène Turon, 2010. "On-The-Job Search, Productivity Shocks, And The Individual Earnings Process," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(3), pages 599-629, August.
    10. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert, 1998. "A Structural Model of Multiple Welfare Program Participation and Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 553-589, August.
    11. René Fahr & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed-Up the Matching Process? A Macro-Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 284-316, August.
    12. Orazio P. Attanasio & Costas Meghir & Ana Santiago, 2012. "Education Choices in Mexico: Using a Structural Model and a Randomized Experiment to Evaluate PROGRESA," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 37-66.
    13. Giorgio Topa & Aysegul Sahin & Andreas Mueller & Jason Faberman, 2016. "Job Search Behavior among the Employed and Non-Employed," 2016 Meeting Papers 1469, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Jeremy Lise & Jean-Marc Robin, 2017. "The Macrodynamics of Sorting between Workers and Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1104-1135, April.
    15. Bernd Fitzenberger & Aderonke Osikominu & Robert Völter, 2006. "Imputation Rules to Improve the Education Variable in the IAB Employment Subsample," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 126(3), pages 405-436.
    16. Frank-Jürgen Weise, 2011. "Der Umbau der Bundesanstalt/Bundesagentur für Arbeit zum modernen Dienstleister," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 80(1), pages 67-78.
    17. Launov, Andrey & Wälde, Klaus, 2016. "The employment effect of reforming a public employment agency," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 140-164.
    18. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2012. "Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low-Income Families," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 481-510.
    19. Thomas Rothe & Klaus Wälde, 2017. "Where Did All the Unemployed Go? Non-standard work in Germany after the Hartz reforms," Working Papers 1709, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    20. Christian Dustmann & Bernd Fitzenberger & Uta Sch?nberg & Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2014. "From Sick Man of Europe to Economic Superstar: Germany's Resurgent Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 167-188, Winter.
    21. Tom Krebs & Martin Scheffel, 2013. "Macroeconomic Evaluation of Labor Market Reform in Germany," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 61(4), pages 664-701, December.
    22. Matthias S. Hertweck & Oliver Sigrist, 2012. "The Aggregate Effects of the Hartz Reforms in Germany," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-38, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    23. repec:oup:jeurec:v:15:y:2017:i:6:p:1214-1257. is not listed on IDEAS
    24. repec:oup:restud:v:86:y:2019:i:1:p:153-190. is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Matthew S. Dey & Christopher J. Flinn, 2005. "An Equilibrium Model of Health Insurance Provision and Wage Determination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 571-627, March.
    26. Jake Bradley & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Hélène Turon, 2017. "Public Sector Wage Policy and Labor Market Equilibrium: A Structural Model," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(6), pages 1214-1257.
    27. Murtin, Fabrice & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2018. "Labor market reforms and unemployment dynamics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 3-19.
    28. repec:wly:iecrev:v:58:y:2017:i:4:p:1047-1088 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:40:i:1:p:45-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    30. Samuel Bentolila & Pierre Cahuc & Juan J. Dolado & Thomas Le Barbanchon, 2012. "Two‐Tier Labour Markets in the Great Recession: France Versus Spain-super-," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(562), pages 155-187, August.
    31. Andrew Shephard, 2017. "Equilibrium Search And Tax Credit Reform," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1047-1088, November.
    32. Jacobi, Lena & Kluve, Jochen, 2007. "Before and after the Hartz reforms: The performance of active labour market policy in Germany," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 40(1), pages 45-64.
    33. Sabine Klinger & Thomas Rothe, 2012. "The Impact of Labour Market Reforms and Economic Performance on the Matching of the Short‐term and the Long‐term Unemployed," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 59(1), pages 90-114, February.
    34. Tom Krebs & Martin Scheffel, 2013. "Macroeconomic Evaluation of Labor Market Reform in Germany," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 61(4), pages 664-701, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:ces:ifosdt:v:72:y:2019:i:06:p:03-25 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor market policy; Hartz reforms; Job search; Wages; Employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:113:y:2019:i:c:p:108-135. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.