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Estimating Incentive and Welfare Effects of Non-stationary Unemployment Benefits

Author

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  • Andrey Launov
  • Klaus Wälde

Abstract

The distribution of unemployment duration in our equilibrium matching model with spell-dependent unemployment benefits displays a time-varying exit rate. Building on Semi-Markov processes, we translate these exit rates into an expression for the aggregate unemployment rate. Structural estimation using a German micro-data set (SOEP) allows us to discuss the effects of a recent unemployment benefit reform (Hartz IV). The reform reduced unemployment by only 0:3%. Contrary to general beliefs, we find that both employed and unemployed workers gain (the latter from an intertemporal perspective). The reason is the rise in the net wage caused by more vacancies per unemployed worker.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2010. "Estimating Incentive and Welfare Effects of Non-stationary Unemployment Benefits," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 328, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp328
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    1. Norbert Berthold & Mustafa Coban, 2014. "Kombilöhne gegen Erwerbsarmut: Warum die USA erfolgreicher sind als Deutschland," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 94(2), pages 118-124, February.
    2. Michael Bräuninger & Jochen Michaelis & Madlen Sode, 2013. "10 Jahre Hartz-Reformen," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201318, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    3. Tom Krebs, 2014. "Labor Market Reform and the Cost of Business Cycles," 2014 Meeting Papers 1017, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Matthias S. Hertweck & Oliver Sigrist, 2012. "The Aggregate Effects of the Hartz Reforms in Germany," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-38, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    5. Christian Bayer & Klaus Wälde, 2010. "Matching and Saving in Continuous Time: Theory," CESifo Working Paper Series 3026, CESifo.
    6. Bart COCKX & Muriel DEJEMEPPE & Andrey LAUNOV & Bruno VAN DER LINDEN, 2011. "Monitoring, Sanctions and Front-Loading of Job Search in a Non-Stationary Model," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2011042, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    7. Martin Biewen & Miriam Sturm, 2021. "Why a Labour Market Boom Does Not Necessarily Bring Down Inequality: Putting Together Germany’s Inequality Puzzle," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1139, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    8. 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).
    9. Mr. Tom Krebs & Mr. Martin Scheffel, 2013. "Macroeconomic Evaluation of Labor Market Reform in Germany," IMF Working Papers 2013/042, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Klaus Wälde, 2016. "Emotion Research in Economics," Working Papers 1611, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    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. Glitz, Albrecht & Wissmann, Daniel, 2021. "Skill Premiums and the Supply of Young Workers in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    13. S. Nuray Akin & Brennan Platt, 2012. "Running Out of Time: Limited Unemployment Benefits and Reservation Wages," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 149-170, April.
    14. Klinger, Sabine & Rothe, Thomas & Weber, Enzo, 2013. "Makroökonomische Perspektive auf die Hartz-Reformen: Die Vorteile überwiegen (The Hartz reforms from a macroeconomic perspective: Positive effects predominate)," IAB-Kurzbericht 201311, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    15. Bernd Fitzenberger & Ralf A. Wilke, 2010. "New Insights into Unemployment Duration and Post Unemployment Earnings in Germany," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(6), pages 794-826, December.
    16. Launov, Andrey & Wälde, Klaus, 2014. "Thumbscrews for Agencies or Individuals? How to reduce unemployment," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100558, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2013. "Thumbscrews for Agencies or for Individuals? How to Reduce Unemployment," Working Papers 1307, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 01 Sep 2013.
    18. Ruppert, Kilian & Stähler, Nikolai, 2022. "What drives the German current account? Household savings, capital investments and public policies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    19. Maia Güell & Cristina Lafuente & Manuel Sánchez & Hélène Turon, 2022. "So different yet so alike: micro and macro labour market outcomes in Germany and Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 147-169, May.
    20. Trinh, Nhat An, 2021. "The effect of social benefit reform on educational inequality," SocArXiv kpxhf, Center for Open Science.
    21. Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2013. "Hartz IV ist tot – Es leben die Hartz-Reformen!," Working Papers 1308, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 01 Nov 2013.
    22. Christian Bayer & Klaus Waelde, 2011. "Describing the Dynamics of Distributions in Search and Matching Models by Fokker-Planck Equations," Working Papers 1110, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 21 Jul 2011.
    23. Merkl, Christian & Sauerbier, Timo, 2022. "Public employment agency reform, matching efficiency, and German unemployment," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 01/2022, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    24. Martin Biewen & Miriam Sturm, 2022. "Why a labour market boom does not necessarily bring down inequality: putting together Germany's inequality puzzle," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 43(2), pages 121-149, June.
    25. 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.

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    Keywords

    Non-stationary unemployment benefits; endogenous effort; matching model; structural estimation; Semi-Markov process;
    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
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General

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