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Does marginal employment promote regular employment for unemployed welfare benefit recipients in Germany?


  • Lietzmann, Torsten

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

  • Schmelzer, Paul
  • Wiemers, Jürgen

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])


"Marginal employment (ME) is one of the largest forms of atypical employment in Germany. In this study, we analyse whether ME has a 'stepping stone' function for unemployed individuals, i.e., whether ME increases the subsequent probability of regular employment. Our study adds to the literature in the following ways. First, compared to previous studies, it analyses the 'stepping stone' function for a more recent time period, i.e., after Germany's major labour-market reforms (Hartz reforms) at the beginning of the 2000s. Second, we use a new administrative data source which includes previously unavailable information on desired labour supply and household composition. Third, we follow recent methodological developments in the evaluation literature by applying a dynamic evaluation approach that has not previously been used to analyse marginal employment. Our results for single and childless unemployment benefit-II recipients highlight the importance of the dynamic approach: We find differing treatment effects by unemployment duration. According to our results, marginal employment does increase the likelihood of regular employment within a three-year observation period only for those unemployed who take up ME several months after beginning to receive benefits. In contrast, for those starting ME within the first months of receiving benefits, there is no effect on the probability of regular employment." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Suggested Citation

  • Lietzmann, Torsten & Schmelzer, Paul & Wiemers, Jürgen, 2016. "Does marginal employment promote regular employment for unemployed welfare benefit recipients in Germany?," IAB Discussion Paper 201618, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  • Handle: RePEc:iab:iabdpa:201618

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Becker, Sascha O. & Caliendo, Marco, 2007. "mhbounds – Sensitivity Analysis for Average Treatment Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 2542, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    3. Marco Caliendo & Steffen Künn & Arne Uhlendorff, 2012. "Marginal Employment, Unemployment Duration and Job Match Quality," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1222, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
    5. Michael Lechner, 1999. "Nonparametric bounds on employment and income effects of continuous vocational training in East Germany," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(1), pages 1-28.
    6. Eichhorst, Werner & Grienberger-Zingerle, Maria & Konle-Seidl, Regina, 2006. "Activation Policies in Germany: From Status Protection to Basic Income Support," IZA Discussion Papers 2514, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Sascha O. Becker & Marco Caliendo, 2007. "Sensitivity analysis for average treatment effects," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(1), pages 71-83, February.
    8. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "The Nonparametric Identification of Treatment Effects in Duration Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1491-1517, September.
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    More about this item


    Arbeitslosengeld II-Empfänger; Arbeitsmarktchancen; geringfügige Beschäftigung; Beschäftigungseffekte; sozialversicherungspflichtige Arbeitnehmer; Arbeitsuche; berufliche Reintegration; Leistungsbezug - Dauer; Integrierte Erwerbsbiografien; Administratives Panel SGB II;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General

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