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'Making Work Pay' in a Rationed Labour Market: The Mini-Job Reform in Germany

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Listed:
  • Olivier Bargain
  • Marco Caliendo
  • Peter Haan
  • Kristian Orsini

Abstract

To tackle mass unemployment and increase participation rates, the German government over recent years has mainly focused on supply side strategies, including 'making work pay' policies. The 2003 Mini-Job reform introduced an extended subsidy of social security contributions for low wage workers. In this paper, we evaluate the employment effects of this reform using a behavioural tax-benefit microsimulation model. Ex-ante micro policy evaluations based on labour supply models usually ignore involuntary unemployment. This leads to biased estimates of labour supply elasticities and erroneous predictions of the effects of the measure. This aspect is all the more important in a country like Germany, characterized by high unemployment. In this analysis we evaluate the employment effects of the Mini-Job reform by controlling for involuntary unemployment through a double-hurdle model. When focusing on the main labour force, we show that the Mini-Job reform has only a small positive effect on the extensive margin, which is outweighed by a reduction of working hours at the intensive margin.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Bargain & Marco Caliendo & Peter Haan & Kristian Orsini, 2005. "'Making Work Pay' in a Rationed Labour Market: The Mini-Job Reform in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 536, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp536
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Haan & Viktor Steiner, 2008. "Making Work Pay for the Elderly Unemployed - Evaluating Alternative Policy Reforms for Germany," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(3), pages 380-402, September.
    2. Stefan Boeters & Michael Feil, 2009. "Heterogeneous Labour Markets in a Microsimulation–AGE Model: Application to Welfare Reform in Germany," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 305-335, May.
    3. Fuest, Clemens & Heilmann, Sven & Peichl, Andreas & Schaefer, Thilo & Bergs, Christian, 2006. "Aufkommens-, Beschäftigungs- und Wachstumswirkungen einer Reform des Steuer- und Transfersystems nach dem Bürgergeld-Vorschlag von Joachim Mitschke [Revenue, employment and growth effects of the in," FiFo Reports - FiFo-Berichte 8, University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics.
    4. Viktor Steiner, 2007. "Beschäftigungsförderung und Einkommenssicherung im Niedriglohnbereich: Wege und Irrwege," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 747, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Müller, Kai-Uwe, 2014. "Analyzing economic policies that affect supply and demand: a structural model of productivity, labor supply and rationing," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100471, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Neumann, Michael & Müller, Kai-Uwe & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2014. "Is The Equal Sharing Of Market Work And Family Duties Hampered By Financial Means Or Constraints? Evidence From A Structural Labor Supply Model With Involuntary Unemployment And Hours Constraints," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100390, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Schneider, Hilmar & Bonin, Holger, 2005. "Wohlfahrts- und Verteilungseffekte eines allgemeinen Freibetrags bei den Sozialabgaben (Welfare and distribution effects of a general fixed allowance for social insurance contributions)," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 38(4), pages 475-492.
    8. Schneider, Hilmar & Bonin, Holger, 2005. "Wohlfahrts- und Verteilungseffekte eines allgemeinen Freibetrags bei den Sozialabgaben (Welfare and distribution effects of a general fixed allowance for social insurance contributions)," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 38(4), pages 475-492.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax-benefit system; Microsimulation; Household labour supply; Multinomial logit; Involuntary unemployment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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