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Work Incentives? Ex Post Effects of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions - Evidence from West Germany


  • Barbara Hofmann


Unemployment insurance (UI) sanctions in the form of benefit reductions are intended to set disincentives for UI recipients to stay unemployed. Empirical evidence about the effects of UI sanctions in Germany is sparse. Using administrative data we investigate the effects of sanctions on the reemployment probability in West Germany for individuals who entered UI receipt between April 2000 and March 2001. By applying a matching approach that takes timing of events into account, we identify the ex post effect of UI sanctions. As a robustness check a difference-in-differences matching estimator is applied. The results indicate positive effects on the employment probability in regular employment for both women and men.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbara Hofmann, 2008. "Work Incentives? Ex Post Effects of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions - Evidence from West Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 2508, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2508

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Svarer, Michael, 2007. "The Effect of Sanctions on the Job Finding Rate: Evidence from Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 3015, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    7. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2006. "Optimal unemployment insurance design: Time limits, monitoring, or workfare?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 13(5), pages 565-585, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patrick Arni & Rafael Lalive & Jan C. Van Ours, 2013. "How Effective Are Unemployment Benefit Sanctions? Looking Beyond Unemployment Exit," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 1153-1178, November.
    2. Bernhard Boockmann & Stephan Thomsen & Thomas Walter, 2009. "Intensifying the Use of Benefit Sanctions – An Effective Tool to Shorten Welfare Receipt and Speed up Transitions to Employment?," IAW Discussion Papers 56, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).

    More about this item


    unemployment insurance sanctions; dynamic matching;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy


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