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Do German Welfare-to-Work Programmes Reduce Welfare and Increase Work?

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  • Huber, Martin
  • Lechner, Michael
  • Walter, Thomas
  • Wunsch, Conny

Abstract

Many Western economies have reformed their welfare systems with the aim of activating welfare recipients by increasing welfare-to-work programmes and job search enforcement. We evaluate the three most important German welfare-to-work programmes implemented after a major reform in January 2005 ("Hartz IV"). Our analysis is based on a unique combination of large scale survey and administrative data that is unusually rich with respect to individual, household, agency level, and regional information. We use this richness to allow for a selection-on-observables approach when doing the econometric evaluation. We find that short-term training programmes on average increase their participants' employment perspectives and that all programmes induce further programme participation. We also show that there is considerable effect heterogeneity across different subgroups of participants that could be exploited to improve the allocation of welfare recipients to the specific programmes and thus increase overall programme effectiveness.

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  • Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Walter, Thomas & Wunsch, Conny, 2009. "Do German Welfare-to-Work Programmes Reduce Welfare and Increase Work?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7238, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7238
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    1. Welfare-to-work programs work, sort of
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-04-27 19:00:00

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    1. Annette Bergemann & Marco Caliendo & Gerard J. van den Berg & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2011. "The threat effect of participation in active labor market programs on job search behavior of migrants in Germany," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(7), pages 777-795, October.
    2. Aldashev, Alisher & Thomsen, Stephan L. & Walter, Thomas, 2010. "Short-term training programs for immigrants: do effects differ from natives and why?," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-021, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Schneider Hilmar & Zimmermann Klaus F. & Uhlendorff Arne, 2013. "Ökonometrie vs. Projektdesign: Lehren aus der Evaluation eines Modellprojekts zur Umsetzung des Workfare-Konzepts," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(1), pages 65-85, February.
    4. repec:zbw:rwirep:0121 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sebastian Butschek & Thomas Walter, 2014. "What active labour market programmes work for immigrants in Europe? A meta-analysis of the evaluation literature," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, December.
    6. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Matthias Vorell, 2009. "Killing them with Kindness: Negative Distributional Externalities of Increasing UI Benefits," Ruhr Economic Papers 0121, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Zabel, Cordula, 2013. "Effects of participating in skill training and workfare on employment entries for lone mothers receiving means-tested benefits in Germany," IAB-Discussion Paper 201303, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    8. Hohendanner Christian, 2011. "Ein-Euro-Jobs und reguläre Beschäftigung / One-Euro-Jobs and Regular Employment: Eine Analyse potenzieller Substitutionseffekte mit Daten des IAB-Betriebspanels / An Analysis of Potential Substitution," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(2), pages 210-246, April.
    9. Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Vorell, Matthias, 2009. "Killing them with Kindness: Negative Distributional Externalities of Increasing UI Benefits," Ruhr Economic Papers 121, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Wolff, Joachim & Hohmeyer, Katrin, 2011. "Direct job creation revisited: Is it effective for welfare recipients and does it matter whether participants receive a wage?," VfS Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48722, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Walter, Thomas & Butschek, Sebastian, 2013. "What Active Labour Market Programmes Work for Immigrants in Europe?," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79745, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Stephan L. Thomsen & Thomas Walter, 2010. "Temporary Extra Jobs for Immigrants: Merging Lane to Employment or Dead‐End Road in Welfare?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(s1), pages 114-140, December.
    13. Bernhard Boockmann & Stephan Thomsen & Thomas Walter, 2011. "Aktivierung der erwerbsfähigen Hilfebedürftigen mit arbeitsmarktpolitischen Maßnahmen – Wer wird gefördert?," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer;Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft - German Statistical Society, vol. 4(4), pages 269-292, January.
    14. Reinhard Hujer, 2011. "Mikroökonometrie und Kausalität: Zur Bedeutung arbeitsmarktpolitischer Evaluationsstudien," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer;Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft - German Statistical Society, vol. 5(1), pages 5-18, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    panel data; targeting; programme evaluation; propensity score matching; Welfare-to-work policies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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