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Distributional Consequences of Labor-demand Shocks: The 2008-09 Recession in Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Olivier Bargain
  • Herwig Immervoll
  • Andreas Peichl
  • Sebastian Siegloch

Abstract

The distributional consequences of the recent economic crisis are still broadly unknown. While it is possible to speculate which groups are likely to be hardest-hit, detailed distributional studies are still largely backward-looking due to a lack of real-time microdata. This paper studies the distributional and fiscal implications of output changes in Germany 2008-09, using data available prior to the economic downturn. We first estimate labor demand on 12 years of detailed, administrative matched employer-employee data. The distributional analysis is then conducted by transposing predicted employment effects of actual output shocks to household-level microdata. A scenario in which labor demand adjustments occur at the intensive margin (hour changes), close to the German experience, shows less severe effects on income distribution compared to a situation where adjustments take place through massive layoffs. Adjustments at the intensive margin are also preferable from a fiscal point of view. In this context we discuss the cushioning effect of the tax-benefit system and the conditions under which German-style work-sharing policies can be successful in other countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Bargain & Herwig Immervoll & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2011. "Distributional Consequences of Labor-demand Shocks: The 2008-09 Recession in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 3403, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3403
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Boeters & Luc Savard, 2011. "The Labour Market in CGE Models," Cahiers de recherche 11-20, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    2. Marco Percoco, 2016. "Labour Market Institutions: Sensitivity to the Cycle and Impact of the Crisis in European Regions," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 107(3), pages 375-385, July.
    3. Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2012. "Accounting for labor demand effects in structural labor supply models," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 129-138.
    4. Maximilian J. Blömer & Mathias Dolls & Clemens Fuest & Max Löffler & Andreas Peichl, 2015. "German Public Finances through the Financial Crisis," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 36, pages 453-474, December.
    5. Boeters, Stefan & Savard, Luc, 2013. "The Labor Market in Computable General Equilibrium Models," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, in: Peter B. Dixon & Dale Jorgenson (ed.), Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 1645-1718, Elsevier.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor demand; output shock; tax-benefit system; crisis; income distribution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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