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Start-up subsidies in East Germany: finally, a policy that works?

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  • Marco Caliendo

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of the paper is to estimate the effectiveness of two start-up programs (bridging allowance and start-up subsidy) in East Germany. Design/methodology/approach - Using a combination of administrative data from the Federal Employment Agency and a follow-up survey (for roughly 1,300/1,000 participants/non-participants), the analysis is based on the conditional independence assumption. Kernel matching estimators are applied to estimate the treatment effects and test the sensitivity of the results using a conditional difference-in-differences approach. Findings - At the end of the observation period both programs are effective: unemployment rates of participants are lower, and employment rates and personal income are higher when compared to non-participants. Additionally, first descriptive evidence of the additional employment effects through direct job creation is presented, which is quite significant for the bridging allowance and negligible for participants in the start-up subsidy. Research limitations/implications - Participants in the start-up subsidy are in their third year of participation at the end of the observation period and mostly still receive further support (although at a reduced rate). Therefore, the results for this program have to be treated as preliminary. Practical implications - In contrast to other active labor market programs that have been evaluated recently (including job-creation schemes and vocational training programs) this paper finds considerable positive effects for start-up subsidies. Hence, programs aimed at turning the unemployed into entrepreneurs may be a promising strategy in East Germany. Originality/value - This is one of the first studies that allows inferences to be drawn about the effectiveness of start-up programs in East Germany. Most previous studies on the effectiveness of active labour market policies in the Eastern part of Germany neglected these programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Caliendo, 2009. "Start-up subsidies in East Germany: finally, a policy that works?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(7), pages 625-647, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:30:y:2009:i:7:p:625-647
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    1. Marco Caliendo & Reinhard Hujer, 2006. "The microeconometric estimation of treatment effects—An overview," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer;German Statistical Society, vol. 90(1), pages 199-215, March.
    2. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
    3. Pagan,Adrian & Ullah,Aman, 1999. "Nonparametric Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521355643, November.
    4. Black, Dan A. & Smith, J.A.Jeffrey A., 2004. "How robust is the evidence on the effects of college quality? Evidence from matching," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 99-124.
    5. Marco Caliendo & Alexander Kritikos, 2010. "Start-ups by the unemployed: characteristics, survival and direct employment effects," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 71-92, July.
    6. Marco Caliendo & Alexander S. Kritikos, 2009. "Die reformierte Gründungsförderung für Arbeitslose – Chancen und Risiken," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(2), pages 189-213, May.
    7. Marco Caliendo & Viktor Steiner, 2005. "Aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland: Bestandsaufnahme und Bewertung der mikroökonomischen Evaluationsergebnisse," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 515, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    9. Y Georgellis & J G Sessions & N Tsitsianis, 2005. "Self-Employment Longitudinal Dynamics: A Review of the Literature," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 10(2), pages 51-84, September.
    10. Hans J. Baumgartner & Marco Caliendo, 2008. "Turning Unemployment into Self‐Employment: Effectiveness of Two Start‐Up Programmes," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(3), pages 347-373, June.
    11. Biewen, Martin & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Osikominu, Aderonke & Waller, Marie, 2007. "Which Program for Whom? Evidence on the Comparative Effectiveness of Public Sponsored Training Programs in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 2885, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1537-1557, November.
    13. John DiNardo & Justin L. Tobias, 2001. "Nonparametric Density and Regression Estimation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 11-28, Fall.
    14. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
    15. Fredriksson, Peter & Johansson, Per, 2004. "Dynamic Treatment Assignment – The Consequences for Evaluations Using Observational Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1062, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
    17. Caliendo, Marco & Hujer, Reinhard & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2005. "The Employment Effects of Job Creation Schemes in Germany: A Microeconometric Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 1512, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
    19. Jose C. Galdo & Jeffrey Smith & Dan Black, 2008. "Bandwidth Selection and the Estimation of Treatment Effects with Unbalanced Data," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 91-92, pages 189-216.
    20. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
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    1. Hans J. Baumgartner & Marco Caliendo, 2008. "Turning Unemployment into Self‐Employment: Effectiveness of Two Start‐Up Programmes," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(3), pages 347-373, June.
    2. Marco Caliendo & Steffen Künn, 2015. "Getting back into the labor market: the effects of start-up subsidies for unemployed females," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 1005-1043, October.
    3. Caliendo, Marco, 2009. "Income Support Systems, Labor Market Policies and Labor Supply: The German Experience," IZA Discussion Papers 4665, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Marco Caliendo & Jens Hogenacker, 2012. "The German labor market after the Great Recession: successful reforms and future challenges," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-24, December.
    5. Heyer, Gerd & Koch, Susanne & Stephan, Gesine & Wolff, Joachim, 2011. "Evaluation der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik: Ein Sachstandsbericht für die Instrumentenreform 2011 (Evaluation of active labor market programs : a summary of recent results for the German program refor," IAB-Discussion Paper 201117, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    6. Ignacio Moral-Arce & Javier Martín-Román & Ángel L. Martín-Román, 2019. "Cessation of Activity Benefit for Spanish Self-employed Workers: A Heterogeneous Impact Evaluation," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 231(4), pages 41-79, December.
    7. Evers, Katalin & Schleinkofer, Michael, 2015. "Der Gründungszuschuss vor und nach der Reform : same, but different: Ein Vergleich der Teilnehmerstrukturen," IAB-Forschungsbericht 201505, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    8. Magnus Lofstrom, 2013. "Does self-employment increase the economic well-being of low-skilled workers?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 933-952, May.
    9. L. Behrenz & L. Delander & J. Månsson, 2016. "Is Starting a Business a Sustainable way out of Unemployment? Treatment Effects of the Swedish Start-up Subsidy," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 389-411, December.
    10. Gerd Heyer & Susanne Koch & Gesine Stephan & Joachim Wolff, 2012. "Evaluation der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik: Ein Sachstandsbericht für die Instrumentenreform 2011 [Evaluation of active labor market programs: a summary of recent results for the German program ref," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 45(1), pages 41-62, March.
    11. Mariachiara Barzotto & Giancarlo Corò & Ilaria Mariotti & Marco Mutinelli, 2019. "Ownership and workforce composition: a counterfactual analysis of foreign multinationals and Italian uni-national firms," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 46(4), pages 581-607, December.
    12. Gerd Heyer & Susanne Koch & Gesine Stephan & Joachim Wolff, 2012. "Evaluation der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik: Ein Sachstandsbericht für die Instrumentenreform 2011," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 45(1), pages 41-62, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subsidies; Business formation; Self employed workers; Germany;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups

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