IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_7379.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What Hides Behind the German Labor Market Miracle? Unemployment Insurance Reforms and Labor Market Dynamics

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin Hartung
  • Philip Jung
  • Moritz Kuhn

Abstract

A key question in labor market research is how the unemployment insurance system affects unemployment rates and labor market dynamics. We revisit this old question studying the German Hartz reforms. On average, lower separation rates explain 76% of declining unemployment after the reform, a fact unexplained by existing research focusing on job finding rates. The reduction in separation rates is heterogeneous, with long-term employed, high-wage workers being most affected. We causally link our empirical findings to the reduction in long-term unemployment benefits using a heterogeneous-agent labor market search model. Absent the reform, unemployment rates would be 50% higher today.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Hartung & Philip Jung & Moritz Kuhn, 2018. "What Hides Behind the German Labor Market Miracle? Unemployment Insurance Reforms and Labor Market Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 7379, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7379
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp7379.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. van Ours, Jan C. & Tuit, Sander, 2010. "How Changes in Unemployment Benefit Duration Affect the Inflow into Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 4691, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877.
    3. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
    4. Murtin, Fabrice & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2018. "Labor market reforms and unemployment dynamics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 3-19.
    5. Michael C. Burda, 2016. "No Role for the Hartz Reforms? Demand and Supply Factors in the German Labor Market, 1993-2014," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2016-010, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    6. Chetty, Raj, 2006. "A general formula for the optimal level of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1879-1901, November.
    7. Krause, Michael U. & Uhlig, Harald, 2012. "Transitions in the German labor market: Structure and crisis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 64-79.
    8. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2016. "The Limited Macroeconomic Effects of Unemployment Benefit Extensions," Working Papers 733, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    9. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    10. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-1362, December.
    11. Tuit, Sander & van Ours, Jan C., 2010. "How changes in unemployment benefit duration affect the inflow into unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 105-107, November.
    12. Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Wages, Experience and Seniority," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 77-108.
    13. Balleer, Almut & Gehrke, Britta & Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian, 2016. "Does short-time work save jobs? A business cycle analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 99-122.
    14. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter, 2016. "The Effects of Unemployment Insurance Benefits: New Evidence and Interpretation," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 547-581, October.
    15. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
    16. Katz, Lawrence F. & Meyer, Bruce D., 1990. "The impact of the potential duration of unemployment benefits on the duration of unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 45-72, February.
    17. Mr. Tom Krebs & Mr. Martin Scheffel, 2013. "Macroeconomic Evaluation of Labor Market Reform in Germany," IMF Working Papers 2013/042, International Monetary Fund.
    18. Sabine Klinger & Enzo Weber, 2016. "Decomposing Beveridge Curve Dynamics By Correlated Unobserved Components," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(6), pages 877-894, December.
    19. Christian Dustmann & Bernd Fitzenberger & Uta Sch?nberg & Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2014. "From Sick Man of Europe to Economic Superstar: Germany's Resurgent Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 167-188, Winter.
    20. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    21. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
    22. Benjamin Schoefer, 2018. "Marginal Jobs and Job Surplus: Evidence from Separations and Unemployment Insurance," 2018 Meeting Papers 1309, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    23. By Matthias S. Hertweck & Oliver Sigrist, 2015. "The ins and outs of German unemployment: a transatlantic perspective," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 1078-1095.
    24. Dauth, Wolfgang & Findeisen, Sebastian & Südekum, Jens, 2016. "Adjusting to Globalization - Evidence from Worker-Establishment Matches in Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 11045, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    25. Michael W. L. Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Ayşegül Şahin, 2013. "Unemployment Dynamics in the OECD," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 530-548, May.
    26. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-438, April.
    27. Tom Krebs & Martin Scheffel, 2013. "Macroeconomic Evaluation of Labor Market Reform in Germany," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 61(4), pages 664-701, December.
    28. Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2013. "Estimating Incentive And Welfare Effects Of Nonstationary Unemployment Benefits," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 1159-1198, November.
    29. Tom Krebs & Martin Scheffel, 2013. "Macroeconomic Evaluation of Labor Market Reform in Germany," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 61(4), pages 664-701, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Michael U. Krause & Thomas A. Lubik, 2014. "Modeling Labor Markets in Macroeconomics: Search and Matching," Working Paper 14-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    2. Sabine Klinger & Enzo Weber, 2016. "Decomposing Beveridge Curve Dynamics By Correlated Unobserved Components," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(6), pages 877-894, December.
    3. Hutter, Christian & Klinger, Sabine & Trenkler, Carsten & Weber, Enzo, 2019. "Which factors are behind Germany's labour market upswing?," IAB-Discussion Paper 201920, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Launov, Andrey & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2021. "The fall in german unemployment: A flow analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    5. Hochmuth, Brigitte & Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian & Gartner, Hermann, 2021. "Hartz IV and the decline of German unemployment: A macroeconomic evaluation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    6. Gehrke, Britta & Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian, 2019. "The German labor market during the Great Recession: Shocks and institutions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 192-208.
    7. Lea Immel, 2021. "The Impact of Labor Market Reforms on Income Inequality: Evidence from the German Hartz Reforms," ifo Working Paper Series 347, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    8. Rothe, Thomas & Wälde, Klaus, 2017. "Where did all the unemployed go? : Non-standard work in Germany after the Hartz reforms," IAB-Discussion Paper 201718, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    9. Gehrke, Britta & Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian, 2017. "The German labor market in the Great Recession: Shocks and institutions," IAB-Discussion Paper 201714, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    10. Ehrich, Malte & Munasib, Abdul & Roy, Devesh, 2018. "The Hartz reforms and the German labor force," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 284-300.
    11. Launov, Andrey & Wälde, Klaus, 2016. "The employment effect of reforming a public employment agency," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 140-164.
    12. Klinger, Sabine & Weber, Enzo, 2020. "GDP-employment decoupling in Germany," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 82-98.
    13. Klinger, Sabine & Weber, Enzo, 2014. "Decomposing Beveridge curve dynamics by correlated unobserved components: The impact of labour market reforms in Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100499, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Rogerson, Richard & Shimer, Robert, 2011. "Search in Macroeconomic Models of the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 7, pages Pages: 61, Elsevier.
    15. Michael Stops, 2016. "Revisiting German labour market reform effects—a panel data analysis for occupational labour markets," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-43, December.
    16. Wolfgang Nagl & Michael Weber, 2016. "Stuck in a trap? Long-term unemployment under two-tier unemployment compensation schemes," ifo Working Paper Series 231, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    17. Jung, Philip & Korfmann, Philipp & Preugschat, Edgar, 2021. "Optimal Regional Labor Market Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 14204, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Hutter, Christian & Weber, Enzo, 2021. "Labour market miracle, productivity debacle: Measuring the effects of skill-biased and skill-neutral technical change," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 102(C).
    19. Krebs, Tom & Scheffel, Martin, 2016. "Quantifizierung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Effekte ausgewählter Reformvorschläge der Studie "Reforms, Investment and Growth: An Agenda for France, Germany and Europe"," Working Papers 16-04, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    20. Moritz Kuhn & Philip Jung, 2015. "What hides behind the German labor market miracle? A macroeconomic analysis," 2015 Meeting Papers 614, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment insurance; labor market flows; endogenous separations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7379. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Klaus Wohlrabe (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.