IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/labeco/v18y2011i2p168-179.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Comparing the effectiveness of employment subsidies

Author

Listed:
  • Brown, Alessio J.G.
  • Merkl, Christian
  • Snower, Dennis J.

Abstract

This paper examines the implications of different types of employment subsidies for employment, welfare, and inequality. It investigates how these effects depend on what target groups the subsidies address. Our analysis focuses on policies that are "approximately welfare efficient" (AWE), i.e. policies that (a) improve employment and welfare, (b) do not raise earnings inequality and (c) are self-financing. We construct a microfounded, dynamic model of hiring and separations and calibrate it with German data. The calibration shows that hiring vouchers can be AWE, while low-wage subsidies are not AWE. Furthermore, hiring vouchers targeted at the long-term unemployed are more effective than those targeted at low-ability workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Alessio J.G. & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2011. "Comparing the effectiveness of employment subsidies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 168-179, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:2:p:168-179
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927-5371(10)00118-1
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1995. "Some political aspects of unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 575-582, April.
    2. Brown, Alessio & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis, 2015. "An Incentive Theory Of Matching," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 643-668, April.
    3. David T. Coe & Dennis J. Snower, 1997. "Policy Complementarities: The Case for Fundamental Labor Market Reform," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 1-35, March.
    4. Dickens, William T & Lang, Kevin, 1988. "The Reemergence of Segmented Labor Market Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 129-134, May.
    5. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    6. Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2010. "Monetary persistence and the labor market: A new perspective," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 968-983, May.
    7. Kremer, M & Maskin, E, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," Working papers 96-23, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    8. Gartner, Hermann & Merkl, Christian & Rothe, Thomas, 2012. "Sclerosis and large volatilities: Two sides of the same coin," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 106-109.
    9. Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Wage Subsidies for the Disadvantaged," NBER Working Papers 5679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Bovenberg, A. Lans & Graafland, Johan J. & de Mooij, Ruud A., 2000. "Tax reform and the Dutch labor market: an applied general equilibrium approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 193-214, October.
    11. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    12. Wienert, Helmut, 2006. "Einkommensdifferenzen zwischen Nicht-Akademikern und Akademikern," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1949 - 2007), ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 86(2), pages 105-111.
    13. Woodbury, Stephen A & Spiegelman, Robert G, 1987. "Bonuses to Workers and Employers to Reduce Unemployment: Randomized Trials in Illinois," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 513-530, September.
    14. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 514-550, June.
    15. Garloff, Alfred & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kohn, Karsten, 2003. "Beschäftigung und Lohnstrukturen nach Qualifikationen und Altersgruppen: Eine empirische Analyse auf Basis der IAB-Beschäftigtenstichprobe," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-75, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    16. Orszag, Mike & Snower, Dennis J., 1998. "Anatomy of Policy Complementarities," CEPR Discussion Papers 1963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Gilles Saint Paul, 1998. "The political consequences of unemployment," Economics Working Papers 343, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    18. J. Michael Orszag & Dennis Snower, 1999. "Youth unemployment and government policy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(2), pages 197-213.
    19. repec:hhs:iuiwop:500 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Orszag, Mike & Snower, Dennis J., 1998. "Anatomy of policy complementarities," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 2252, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    21. Gabriele Cardullo & Bruno Van der Linden, 2007. "Employment Subsidies and Substitutable Skills: An Equilibrium Matching Approach," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 53(4), pages 375-404.
    22. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2008. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1653-1674, September.
    23. Orszag, Jonathan Michael & Snower, Dennis J., 2000. "The effectiveness of employment vouchers: a simple approach," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 2519, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    24. Ronald Bachmann, 2005. "Labour Market Dynamics in Germany: Hirings, Separations, and Job-to-Job Transitions over the Business Cycle," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-045, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    25. René Fahr & Uwe Sunde, 2004. "Occupational job creation: patterns and implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 407-435, July.
    26. Yu‐Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2005. "Non‐Wage Labour Costs, Policy Uncertainty And Labour Demand – A Theoretical Assessment," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(5), pages 687-709, November.
    27. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    28. Phelps, Edmund S, 1994. "Low-Wage Employment Subsidies versus the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 54-58, May.
    29. Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt & Seth D. Harris & Orley Lobel (ed.),Labor and Employment Law and Economics, volume 2, pages 480-516, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    30. Christopher J. O’Leary & Paul T. Decke & Stephen A. Wandner, 2005. "Cost-Effectiveness of Targeted Reemployment Bonuses," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
    31. Hui, Weng T. & Trivedi, P. K., 1986. "Duration dependence, targeted employment subsidies and unemployment benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 105-129, October.
    32. Oskamp, Frank & Snower, Dennis J., 2006. "The effect of low-wage subsidies on skills and employment," Kiel Working Papers 1292, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    33. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters, in: James G. Carrier (ed.), A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    34. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2003. "Labour Demand in Germany: An Assessment of Non- Wage Labour Costs," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 154, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    35. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1987. "Strike and Lock-Out Threats and Fiscal Policy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(4), pages 760-784, December.
    36. Boone, Jan & van Ours, Jan C, 2004. "Effective Active Labour Market Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 4707, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    37. Hans-Werner Sinn & Christian Holzner & Wolfgang Meister & Wolfgang Ochel & Martin Werding, 2006. "Aktivierende Sozialhilfe 2006 - das Kombilohn-Modell des ifo Instituts," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 59(02), pages 06-27, January.
    38. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1777, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    39. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
    40. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877.
    41. Orszag, J. Michael & Snower, Dennis J., 2003. "Designing employment subsidies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 557-572, October.
    42. Snower, Dennis J. & Merkl, Christian, 2006. "The caring hand that cripples: The East German labor market after reunification (detailed version)," Kiel Working Papers 1263, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    43. Stephan, Gesine, 2010. "Employer wage subsidies and wages in Germany : empirical evidence from individual data," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 43(1), pages 53-71.
    44. Brian Bell & Richard Blundell & John Reenen, 1999. "Getting the Unemployed Back to Work: The Role of Targeted Wage Subsidies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(3), pages 339-360, August.
    45. Snower, Dennis J, 1994. "Converting Unemployment Benefits into Employment Subsidies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 65-70, May.
    46. Boss, Alfred, 2006. "Brauchen wir einen Kombilohn?," Kiel Working Papers 1279, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    47. Dennis J. Snower & Christian Merkl, 2006. "The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labor Market after Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 375-382, May.
    48. Sunde, Uwe & Thalmaier, Anja & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Arbeitsplätze für Geringqualifizierte," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1949 - 2007), ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 79(12), pages 723-730.
    49. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
    50. Paul R. Krugman, 1994. "Past and prospective causes of high unemployment," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Jan, pages 49-98.
    51. J. Michael Orszag & Dennis J. Shower, 2000. "The Effectiveness of Employment Vouchers: A Simple Approach," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(4), pages 385-419, November.
    52. Fahr, René & Sunde, Uwe, 2001. "Disaggregate Matching Functions," IZA Discussion Papers 335, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    53. repec:ces:ifosdt:v::y:2006:i::p:06-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    54. Boone, J. & van Ours, J.C., 2004. "Effective Labor Market Policies," Discussion Paper 2004-87, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    55. Nicholas Kaldor, 1936. "Wage Subsidies as a Remedy for Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44, pages 721-721.
    56. DREZE, Jacques H. & SNEESSENS, Henri, 1994. "Technical Development, Competition from Low-Wage Economies and Low-Skilled Unemployment," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 1994036, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    57. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
    58. Ralf A. Wilke, 2005. "New Extimates of the Duration and Risk of Unemployment for West-Germany," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(2), pages 207-237.
    59. Schnabel, Claus, 2005. "Gewerkschaften und Arbeitgeberverbände: Organisationsgrade, Tarifbindung und Einflüsse auf Löhne und Beschäftigung," Discussion Papers 34, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    60. Warren, Ronald Jr., 1996. "Returns to scale in a matching model of the labor market," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 135-142, January.
    61. Riphahn, Regina T. & Thalmaier, Anja & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen für Geringqualifizierte," IZA Research Reports 2, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    62. Uwe Jirjahn & Christian Pfeifer & Georgi Tsertsvadze, 2009. "Mikroökonomische Beschäftigungseffekte des Hamburger Modells zur Beschäftigungsförderung - Evaluation eines Kombilohns," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 129(1), pages 37-82.
    63. Orszag, Mike & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "Unemployment Vouchers versus Low-Wage Subsidies," IZA Discussion Papers 537, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Alessio Brown & Johannes Koettl, 2015. "Active labor market programs - employment gain or fiscal drain?," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, December.
    2. Oskamp, Frank & Snower, Dennis J., 2007. "Interactions between employment and training policies," Kiel Working Papers 1389, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2010. "Monetary persistence and the labor market: A new perspective," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 968-983, May.
    4. Brown, Alessio J. G. & Snower, Dennis J., 2009. "Incentives and complementarities of flexicurity," Kiel Working Papers 1526, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Gartner, Hermann & Merkl, Christian & Rothe, Thomas, 2012. "Sclerosis and large volatilities: Two sides of the same coin," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 106-109.
    6. Ester Faia & Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl, 2014. "Labor Selection, Turnover Costs, and Optimal Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(1), pages 115-144, February.
    7. Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2008. "Escaping the unemployment trap: The case of East Germany," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 542-556, December.
    8. Rogerson, Richard & Shimer, Robert, 2011. "Search in Macroeconomic Models of the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 7, pages Pages: 61, Elsevier.
    9. Kienzler, Daniel, 2012. "Long-term Unemployment over the Business Cycle, Skill Loss, and Monetary Policy," Working Papers on Finance 1205, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    10. Brown, Alessio & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis, 2015. "An Incentive Theory Of Matching," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 643-668, April.
    11. Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian & Nordmeier, Daniela, 2016. "Revisiting the matching function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 350-374.
    12. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
    13. Yashiv, Eran, 2007. "Labor search and matching in macroeconomics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1859-1895, November.
    14. Brown, Alessio J.G. & Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2021. "The effects of productivity and benefits on unemployment: Breaking the link," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 967-980.
    15. Burda Michael C. & Weder Mark, 2002. "Complementarity of Labor Market Institutions, Equilibrium Unemployment and the Propagation of Business Cycles," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, February.
    16. Merkl, Christian & Schmitz, Tom, 2011. "Macroeconomic volatilities and the labor market: First results from the euro experiment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 44-60, March.
    17. Tito Boeri & Michael C. Burda, 2009. "Preferences for Collective Versus Individualised Wage Setting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1440-1463, October.
    18. Gabriele Cardullo & Bruno Van der Linden, 2007. "Employment Subsidies and Substitutable Skills: An Equilibrium Matching Approach," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 53(4), pages 375-404.
    19. repec:zbw:ifwkwp:1309 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Ortego-Marti, Victor, 2017. "Loss of skill during unemployment and TFP differences across countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 215-235.
    21. Alejandro Justiniano & Claudio Michelacci, 2012. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies in the United States and Europe," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 169-235.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Low wage subsidy Hiring voucher Targeting Employment Unemployment Duration Self-financing;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - 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:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:2:p:168-179. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco .

    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.