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A Conceptual Framework for the Evaluation of Comprehensive Labor Market Policy Reforms in Germany

  • Fertig, Michael

    ()

    (ISG, Cologne)

  • Kluve, Jochen

    ()

    (Humboldt University Berlin, RWI)

Over the last year the German government has introduced a comprehensive set of labor market policy reforms, the so-called Hartz reforms, which aim at a significant reduction of unemployment. To this end, (a) many of the existing instruments of active labor market policy are modified considerably, (b) a set of new instruments is introduced, and (c) the administrative framework in which these measures operate is changed substantially. In order to be able to judge the success of these measures by the end of the current legislative period in mid-2006, the government has asked academic experts to set up an evaluation concept capable of generating reliable empirical evidence by that date. The task is therefore to develop a ready-to-implement concept for the evaluation of the full set of reforms in their entirety, as well as each instrument on its own, facing substantive constraints regarding data availability and a short time horizon. This paper presents such a concept. We discuss essential guidelines for an ideal evaluation design, conceptual and practical difficulties that arise in the context of evaluating the Hartz reforms, and ways to overcome these obstacles. After detailing the three main analytical steps – analyses of effectiveness, efficiency, and implementation and process analysis – we present the concrete evaluation design, specific methods applicable to particular instruments, and a sampling scheme for collecting the required data. In addition to the fact that our concept is directly implementable, it also has the advantage of being extensible for future labor market policy evaluations.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1099.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Applied Economics Quarterly Supplement, 2004, 55, 83-112
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1099
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  1. Jochen Kluve & Hartmut Lehmann & Christophe M. Schmidt, 1999. "Active Labor Market Policies in Poland: Human Capital Enhancement, Stigmatization or Benefit Churning?," LICOS Discussion Papers 8099, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  2. Hujer, Reinhard & Fitzenberger, Bernd, 2002. "Stand und Perspektiven der Evaluation der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-13, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. David Card & Daniel Sullivan, 1987. "Measuring the Effect of Subsidized Training Programs on Movements In andOut of Employment," NBER Working Papers 2173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1999. "The Pre-Program Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Implications for Simple Program Evaluation Strategies," NBER Working Papers 6983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  7. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Speckesser, Stefan, 2000. "Zur wissenschaftlichen Evaluation der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland: Ein Überblick," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-06, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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