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Activation Policies in Germany: From Status Protection to Basic Income Support

In: Bringing the Jobless into Work?

Author

Listed:
  • W. Eichhorst

    (Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))

  • M. Grienberger-Zingerle

    (The Bavarian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs)

  • R. Konle-Seidl

    (Institute of Employment Research (IAB))

Abstract

Although Germany has a long-standing reputation as a passive welfare state with elaborate schemes of status-protecting income replacement through social insurance in case of unemployment and a full-blown system of active labour market policies, all benefit systems had formal elements of activation and work requirement – but they had not been enforced systematically. In recent years, however, reforms of active and passive labour market policy were implemented in Germany in order to create a more activating labour market and social policy regime through awakening dormant activation principles. Changing the system of unemployment insurance benefits and basic income support as well as the repertoire of active labour market policy instruments and making benefit receipt more conditional upon job search and acceptance of job offers was a major issue on the political agenda. The reform of the benefit system also involved a major overhaul of the governance of labour market policy and has far-reaching implications for the logic of the German welfare state. All these reforms generated considerable public attention and interest from foreign observers. Yet, it remains to be seen to what extent activation is really implemented in practice and if the desired economic and societal objectives of activation could be achieved through the reforms adopted.

Suggested Citation

  • W. Eichhorst & M. Grienberger-Zingerle & R. Konle-Seidl, 2008. "Activation Policies in Germany: From Status Protection to Basic Income Support," Springer Books, in: Werner Eichhorst & Otto Kaufmann & Regina Konle-Seidl (ed.), Bringing the Jobless into Work?, pages 17-67, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sprchp:978-3-540-77435-8_2
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-77435-8_2
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kemmerling, Achim & Bruttel, Oliver, 2005. "New politics in German labour market policy? The implications of the recent Hartz reforms for the German welfare state," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2005-101, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour Market; Unemployment Benefit; Social Assistance; Unemployment Insurance; Labour Market Policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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