IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/pal/imfecr/v61y2013i4p664-701.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Macroeconomic Evaluation of Labor Market Reform in Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Tom Krebs
  • Martin Scheffel

Abstract

In 2003–05 the German government implemented a number of far-reaching labor market reforms, the so-called Hartz reforms. At the heart of the reform package was the Hartz IV law, which resulted in a significant cut in the unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. The paper develops a macroeconomic model with search and incomplete markets, calibrates the model economy to German data and institutions, and uses the calibrated model economy to simulate the effects of the Hartz reforms, and in particular Hartz IV, on the German labor market. The paper finds that the Hartz IV reform reduced the noncyclical unemployment rate in Germany by 1.4 percentage points. Employed workers benefited from the Hartz IV reform in welfare terms, but unemployed workers lost. It further finds that the Hartz I–III reforms reduced the noncyclical unemployment rate in Germany by 1.5 percentage points. Finally, the authors’ analysis suggests that the Hartz reforms contributed to the good performance of the German labor market during the Great Recession.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfecr:v:61:y:2013:i:4:p:664-701
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/imfer/journal/v61/n4/pdf/imfer201319a.pdf
    File Function: Link to full text PDF
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/imfer/journal/v61/n4/full/imfer201319a.html
    File Function: Link to full text HTML
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    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. Philip, Jung & Moritz, Kuhn, 2011. "The Era of the U.S.-Europe Labor Market Divide: What can we learn?," MPRA Paper 32322, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. 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(4), pages 1159-1198, November.
    3. Pissarides, C A, 1979. "Job Matchings with State Employment Agencies and Random Search," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(356), pages 818-833, December.
    4. Burda, Michael C & Mertens, Antje, 1998. "Wages and Worker Displacement in Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 1869, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. John T. Addison & Mário Centeno & Pedro Portugal, 2010. "Unemployment Benefits and Reservation Wages: Key Elasticities from a Stripped‐Down Job Search Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(305), pages 46-59, January.
    6. Benhabib, Jess & Bull, Clive, 1983. "Job Search: The Choice of Intensity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(5), pages 747-764, October.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
    8. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
    9. Rasmus Lentz, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in an Estimated Job Search Model with Savings," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 37-57, January.
    10. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, October.
    11. Henry S. Farber, 2003. "Job Loss in the United States, 1981-2001," Working Papers 113, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    12. J. J. McCall, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-126.
    13. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 2000. "Productivity gains from unemployment insurance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1195-1224, June.
    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. Marco Caliendo & Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Arne Uhlendorff, 2013. "Benefit Duration, Unemployment Duration And Job Match Quality: A Regression‐Discontinuity Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4), pages 604-627, June.
    16. 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.
    17. Herwig Immervoll & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2007. "Welfare reform in European countries: a microsimulation analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 1-44, January.
    18. 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.
    19. Franz, Wolfgang & Guertzgen, Nicole & Schubert, Stefanie & Clauss, Markus, 2007. "Reformen im Niedriglohnsektor: Eine integrierte CGE-Mikrosimulationsstudie der Arbeitsangebots- und Beschäftigungseffekte," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-085, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    20. Robert Shimer & Ivan Werning, 2008. "Liquidity and Insurance for the Unemployed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1922-1942, December.
    21. Hunt, Jennifer, 1995. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 88-120, January.
    22. Browning, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter & Heckman, James J., 1999. "Micro data and general equilibrium models," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 543-633, Elsevier.
    23. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    24. Jacobi, Lena & Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "Before and After the Hartz Reforms: The Performance of Active Labour Market Policy in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 41, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    25. Imrohoruglu, Ayse, 1989. "Cost of Business Cycles with Indivisibilities and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
    26. Peter A. Streufert, 1990. "Stationary Recursive Utility and Dynamic Programming under the Assumption of Biconvergence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(1), pages 79-97.
    27. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877.
    28. James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2004. "Stabilization versus insurance: Welfare effects of procyclical taxation under incomplete markets," Economics Working Papers 890, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2005.
    29. Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2004. "Income Variance Dynamics and Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 1-32, January.
    30. Robert Shimer & Iván Werning, 2007. "Reservation Wages and Unemployment Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1145-1185.
    31. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2011. "What Explains the German Labor Market Miracle in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 273-335.
    32. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
    33. Tom Krebs, 2003. "Human Capital Risk and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 709-744.
    34. Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln & Dirk Krueger & Mathias Sommer, 2010. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 103-132, January.
    35. Hendrik Schmitz & Viktor Steiner, 2007. "Benefit-Entitlement Effects and the Duration of Unemployment: An Ex-ante Evaluation of Recent Labour Market Reforms in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 678, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    36. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok, 2007. "Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Unemployment Insurance from New York State," NBER Working Papers 12865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    37. Bohringer, Christoph & Boeters, Stefan & Feil, Michael, 2005. "Taxation and unemployment: an applied general equilibrium approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 81-108, January.
    38. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Ayşegül Şahin, 2010. "Labour-Market Matching with Precautionary Savings and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1477-1507.
    39. James Costain and Michael Reiter, 2001. "Stabilization versus Insurance," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 161, Society for Computational Economics.
    40. Hansen, Gary D & Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 118-142, February.
    41. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard vs. Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 13967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    42. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo Manuelli, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth," NBER Working Papers 3241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    43. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-438, April.
    44. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-1038, October.
    45. Fahr René & Sunde Uwe, 2009. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed-Up the Matching Process? A Macro- Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 10(3), pages 284-316, August.
    46. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Erratum: Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1197-1197, December.
    47. Romain Bouis & Orsetta Causa & Lilas Demmou & Romain Duval & Aleksandra Zdzienicka, 2012. "The Short-Term Effects of Structural Reforms: An Empirical Analysis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 949, OECD Publishing.
    48. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
    49. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    50. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-782, July.
    51. Henry S. Farber, 2003. "Job Loss in the United States, 1981-2001," Working Papers 850, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    52. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-1362, December.
    53. Jung, Philip & Kuhn, Moritz, 2011. "Labor Market Rigidity and Business Cycle Volatility," MPRA Paper 48946, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    54. Tom Krebs, 2006. "Recursive equilibrium in endogenous growth models with incomplete markets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 29(3), pages 505-523, November.
    55. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    56. 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(3), pages 284-316, August.
    57. repec:zbw:rwidps:0041 is not listed on IDEAS
    58. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
    59. Henry Farber, 2003. "Job Loss in the United States, 1981-2001," NBER Working Papers 9707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    60. Bernd Fitzenberger & Ralf A. Wilke, 2010. "New Insights into Unemployment Duration and Post Unemployment Earnings in Germany," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(6), pages 794-826, December.
    61. Alvarez, Fernando & Stokey, Nancy L., 1998. "Dynamic Programming with Homogeneous Functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 167-189, September.
    62. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
    63. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
    64. Makoto Nakajima, 2012. "Business Cycles In The Equilibrium Model Of Labor Market Search And Self‐Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 399-432, May.
    65. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678-678.
    66. Henry S. Farber, 2003. "Job Loss in the United States, 1981-2001," Working Papers 850, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    67. Henry S. Farber, 2003. "Job Loss in the United States, 1981-2001," Working Papers 113, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    68. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-132, March.
    69. Jacobi, Lena & Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "Before and After the Hartz Reforms: The Performance of Active Labour Market Policy in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 2100, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    70. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
    71. repec:pri:cepsud:89farber is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Tom Krebs & Martin Scheffel, 2016. "Labor Market Institutions and the Cost of Recessions," CESifo Working Paper Series 6262, CESifo.
    2. Mr. Tom Krebs & Mr. Martin Scheffel, 2013. "Macroeconomic Evaluation of Labor Market Reform in Germany," IMF Working Papers 2013/042, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Tom Krebs, 2014. "Labor Market Reform and the Cost of Business Cycles," 2014 Meeting Papers 1017, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. 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.
    5. Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Jan C. Ours, 2014. "Labor Market Effects Of Unemployment Insurance Design," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 284-311, April.
    6. Krebs, Tom & Scheffel, Martin, 2016. "Quantifizierung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Effekte ausgewählter Reformvorschläge der Studie "Reforms, Investment and Growth: An Agenda for France, Germany and Europe"," Working Papers 16-04, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    7. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Ayşegül Şahin, 2010. "Labour-Market Matching with Precautionary Savings and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1477-1507.
    8. Leena Rudanko, 2008. "Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Risk in a Frictional Labor Market," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2008-009, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    9. Mukoyama, Toshihiko, 2013. "Understanding the welfare effects of unemployment insurance policy in general equilibrium," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 347-368.
    10. 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(4), pages 1159-1198, November.
    11. Christian Bayer & Klaus Wälde, 2010. "Matching and Saving in Continuous Time: Theory," CESifo Working Paper Series 3026, CESifo.
    12. Jan Eeckhout & Alireza Sepahsalari, 2020. "The Effect of Wealth on Worker Productivity," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 20/731, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    13. Shao, Enchuan & Silos, Pedro, 2017. "Wealth inequality and employment fluctuations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 125-135.
    14. 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.
    15. Robert Shimer & Ivan Werning, 2008. "Liquidity and Insurance for the Unemployed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1922-1942, December.
    16. Krebs, Tom & Scheffel, Martin, 2016. "Structural Reform in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 9787, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Serdar Birinci & Kurt Gerrard See, 2018. "How Should Unemployment Insurance vary over the Business Cycle?," 2018 Meeting Papers 69, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Alisdair McKay & Tamas Papp, 2011. "Accounting for Idiosyncratic Wage Risk Over the Business Cycle," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-028, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    19. Cahuc, Pierre, 2014. "Search, flows, job creations and destructions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 22-29.
    20. Mr. Tom Krebs & Mr. Martin Scheffel, 2016. "Structural Reform in Germany," IMF Working Papers 2016/096, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    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:pal:imfecr:v:61:y:2013:i:4:p:664-701. 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.palgrave-journals.com/ .

    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: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/ .

    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.