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Under Heavy Pressure: Intense Monitoring and Accumulation of Sanctions for Young Welfare Recipients in Germany

Listed author(s):
  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    ()

    (University of Bristol)

  • Uhlendorff, Arne

    ()

    (CREST)

  • Wolff, Joachim

    ()

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

With the introduction of a new welfare benefit system in 2005, Germany implemented quite strict benefit sanctions for welfare recipients aged younger than 25 years. For all types of non-compliance except for missing appointments, their basic cash benefit is withdrawn for three months. A second sanction of the same type within one year implies a complete benefit cut for three months. We analyze the impact of these sanctions on job search outcomes and on transitions out of the labor force. Our analysis is based on administrative data on a large inflow sample of young male jobseekers into welfare in West Germany. We estimate separate models for people living alone and people living with their family, as sanctioned welfare recipients living with other household members can partly rely on their support and might react less by increasing search intensity and lowering reservation wages. We estimate the parameters of multivariate duration models taking selection based on unobservables into account. Our results suggest that both the first and the second sanction increase the probability of finding a job, but that these jobs go along with lower earnings due to first but not the second sanction. Moreover, first sanctions significantly increase the transition rate out of the labor force of both groups of young men, while the second sanction amplify this effect only for young men living in single households.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10730.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10730
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  1. Murray Aitkin, 1999. "A General Maximum Likelihood Analysis of Variance Components in Generalized Linear Models," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 117-128, 03.
  2. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. Berg & Jan C. Ours, 2005. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions on the Transition Rate from Unemployment to Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 602-630, 07.
  3. Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Punitive Sanctions and the Transition Rate from Welfare to Work," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 211-241, January.
  4. Patrick Arni & Rafael Lalive & Jan C. Van Ours, 2013. "How Effective Are Unemployment Benefit Sanctions? Looking Beyond Unemployment Exit," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 1153-1178, November.
  5. Gerard J. Berg & Johan Vikström, 2014. "Monitoring Job Offer Decisions, Punishments, Exit to Work, and Job Quality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(2), pages 284-334, 04.
  6. Rafael Lalive & Jan C. van Ours & Josef Zweimüller, 2005. "The Effect Of Benefit Sanctions On The Duration Of Unemployment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1386-1417, December.
  7. Drepper, Bettina & Effraimidis, Georgios, 2016. "Identification of the timing-of-events model with multiple competing exit risks from single-spell data," COHERE Working Paper 2016:3, COHERE - Centre of Health Economics Research, University of Southern Denmark.
  8. Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie, 2006. "Crime and benefit sanctions," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 5(2), pages 149-165, August.
  9. Drepper, Bettina & Effraimidis, Georgios, 2015. "Identification of the Timing-of-Events Model with Multiple Competing Exit Risks from Single-Spell Data," IZA Discussion Papers 8839, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Michael Svarer, 2011. "The Effect of Sanctions on Exit from Unemployment: Evidence from Denmark," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(312), pages 751-778, October.
  11. Drepper, Bettina & Effraimidis, Georgios, 2016. "Identification of the timing-of-events model with multiple competing exit risks from single-spell data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 124-126.
  12. Bernhard Boockmann & Stephan L. Thomsen & Thomas Walter, 2014. "Intensifying the use of benefit sanctions: an effective tool to increase employment?," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-19, December.
  13. Gaure, Simen & Roed, Knut & Zhang, Tao, 2007. "Time and causality: A Monte Carlo assessment of the timing-of-events approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1159-1195, December.
  14. Knut Røed & Lars Westlie, 2012. "Unemployment Insurance In Welfare States: The Impacts Of Soft Duration Constraints," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 518-554, 05.
  15. 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, 09.
  16. McVicar, Duncan, 2008. "Job search monitoring intensity, unemployment exit and job entry: Quasi-experimental evidence from the UK," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1451-1468, December.
  17. Busk, Henna, 2016. "Sanctions and the exit from unemployment in two different benefit schemes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 159-176.
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