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Alte Idee, neues Programm: Der Gründungszuschuss als Nachfolger von Überbrückungsgeld und Ich-AG


  • Marco Caliendo


  • Jens Hogenacker


  • Steffen Künn


  • Frank Wießner



The promotion of self-employment as part of active labour market policy ranks as one of the most important support schemes in Germany. The main idea is to grant unemployed individuals financial support to start their own business and therefore to escape unemployment. For this purpose two schemes provided financial support to the unemployed until 2006, the bridging allowance (“Überbrückungsgeld”) and the start-up subsidy (“Existenzgründungszuschuss”). Although both programs have been shown to be very effective, the German government replaced both schemes by one single program, the new start-up subsidy (“Gründungszuschuss”, GZ) in August 2006, mainly to reduce bureaucratic burden. This study aims at providing descriptive evidence on participant’s structure of the new instrument in comparison to the former programs. Moreover, we shed light on business survival, income situation of founders and job creation by the new businesses. Results show that new program (GZ) supports a smaller range of unemployed individuals than initially subsidized by the former two schemes. However, we do not find indication that individuals exhaust their unemployment benefit entitlement before entering the program. With respect to sustainability we find that 75–84% of subsidized businesses are still self-employed 19 months after start-up and household income can be considered to secure the livelihood. Finally, with the data at hand we are able to contribute new insights to the discussion about potential deadweight effects associated with business subsidies. We show that those effects indeed exist but to a smaller extent than previously assumed. Copyright Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Caliendo & Jens Hogenacker & Steffen Künn & Frank Wießner, 2012. "Alte Idee, neues Programm: Der Gründungszuschuss als Nachfolger von Überbrückungsgeld und Ich-AG," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 45(2), pages 99-123, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jlabrs:v:45:y:2012:i:2:p:99-123
    DOI: 10.1007/s12651-012-0104-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Caliendo & Jens Hogenacker & Steffen Künn & Frank Wießner, 2015. "Subsidized start-ups out of unemployment: a comparison to regular business start-ups," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 165-190, June.
    2. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen & Weißenberger, Martin, 2016. "Personality traits and the evaluation of start-up subsidies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 87-108.
    3. Daniel S.J. Lechmann & Christoph Wunder, 2017. "The Dynamics of Solo Self-Employment: Persistence and Transition to Employership," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 932, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Schneck, Stefan & May-Strobl, Eva, 2014. "The economic contribution of start-up firms in Germany," Working Papers 02/14, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    5. Lechmann, Daniel S. J. & Wunder, Christoph, 2016. "The dynamics of solo self-employment: Persistence and transition to employership," Discussion Papers 98, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    6. 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].
    7. Moritz Zöllner & Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2016. "An Evaluation of German Active Labor Market Policies and its Entrepreneurship Promotion," Jena Economic Research Papers 2016-022, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    8. Piegeler, Monika & Röhl, Klaus-Heiner, 2015. "Gründungsförderung in Deutschland: Ein Aktionsplan gegen sinkende Gründerzahlen," IW policy papers 17/2015, Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln (IW) / Cologne Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item


    Gründungszuschuss; Aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik; Existenzgründungszuschuss; Überbrückungsgeld; Evaluation arbeitsmarktpolitischer Maßnahmen; J68; M13; H43;

    JEL classification:

    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate


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