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Assessing the employment effects of the German welfare reform -- an integrated CGE-microsimulation approach

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  • Wolfgang Franz
  • Nicole Guertzgen
  • Stefanie Schubert
  • Markus Clauss

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to quantify the employment effects of the recent German welfare reform. The key element of this reform was to merge the coexisting transfer systems Social Assistance (SA) and Unemployment Assistance (UA) into one unified benefit (Arbeitslosengeld II -- ALG II). We also consider a second reform scenario that is intended to further improve the labour supply incentives of low-skilled workers. Our methodological contribution is to use an integrated CGE-microsimulation model. In adopting such an approach, we are able to combine the advantages of microsimulation studies by accounting for the large amount of heterogeneity in terms of households’ preferences and budget constraints with the advantages of an applied general equilibrium model. The latter permits us to identify potential general equilibrium repercussions through changes in wages and unemployment. The simulations indicate that the introduction of ALG II results in a negligible increase in employment of only 45 000 individuals. In contrast, a cut in benefit levels combined with a decrease in transfer withdrawal is shown to produce somewhat larger employment effects of about 190 000 individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfgang Franz & Nicole Guertzgen & Stefanie Schubert & Markus Clauss, 2012. "Assessing the employment effects of the German welfare reform -- an integrated CGE-microsimulation approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(19), pages 2403-2421, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:44:y:2012:i:19:p:2403-2421
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2011.564149
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andreas PEICHL, "undated". "The Benefits of Linking CGE and Microsimulation Models - Evidence from a Flat Tax analysis," EcoMod2008 23800106, EcoMod.
    2. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
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    5. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    6. Ballard, Charles L. & Fullerton, Don & Shoven, John B. & Whalley, John, 2009. "A General Equilibrium Model for Tax Policy Evaluation," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226036335.
    7. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton & John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1985. "Introduction to "A General Equilibrium Model for Tax Policy Evaluation"," NBER Chapters,in: A General Equilibrium Model for Tax Policy Evaluation, pages 1-5 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Arntz, Melanie & Boeters, Stefan & Gürtzgen, Nicole & Schubert, Stefanie, 2008. "Analysing welfare reform in a microsimulation-AGE model: The value of disaggregation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 422-439, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bräuninger, Michael & Michaelis, Jochen & Sode, Madlen, 2013. "10 Jahre Hartz-Reformen," HWWI Policy Papers 73, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
      • Michael Bräuninger & Jochen Michaelis & Madlen Sode, 2013. "10 Jahre Hartz-Reformen," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201318, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Robin Jessen & Davud Rostam-Afschar & Viktor Steiner, 2017. "Getting the Poor to Work: Three Welfare-Increasing Reforms for a Busy Germany," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 73(1), pages 1-41, March.
    3. Norbert Berthold & Mustafa Coban, 2014. "Kombilöhne gegen Erwerbsarmut: Warum die USA erfolgreicher sind als Deutschland," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;German National Library of Economics, vol. 94(2), pages 118-124, February.
    4. Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2013. "Thumbscrews for Agencies or for Individuals? How to Reduce Unemployment," Working Papers 1307, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 01 Sep 2013.
    5. repec:spr:izalpo:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40173-017-0089-x is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Leibbrandt, Murray & Lilenstein, Kezia & Shenker, Callie & Woolard, Ingrid, 2013. "The influence of social transfers on labour supply: A South African and international review," SALDRU Working Papers 112, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    7. Robin Jessen & Davud Rostam-Afschar & Viktor Steiner, 2017. "Getting the Poor to Work: Three Welfare-Increasing Reforms for a Busy Germany," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 73(1), pages 1-41, March.
    8. Launov, Andrey & Wälde, Klaus, 2014. "Thumbscrews for Agencies or Individuals? How to reduce unemployment," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100558, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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