IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp12001.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What Hides behind the German Labor Market Miracle? Unemployment Insurance Reforms and Labor Market Dynamics

Author

Listed:
  • Hartung, Benjamin

    () (University of Bonn)

  • Jung, Philip

    () (TU Dortmund)

  • Kuhn, Moritz

    () (University of Bonn)

Abstract

A key question in labor market research is how the unemployment insurance system affects unemployment rates and labor market dynamics. We revisit this old question studying the German Hartz reforms. On average, lower separation rates explain 76% of declining unemployment after the reform, a fact unexplained by existing research focusing on job finding rates. The reduction in separation rates is heterogeneous, with long-term employed, high-wage workers being most affected. We causally link our empirical findings to the reduction in long-term unemployment benefits using a heterogeneous-agent labor market search model. Absent the reform, unemployment rates would be 50% higher today.

Suggested Citation

  • Hartung, Benjamin & Jung, Philip & Kuhn, Moritz, 2018. "What Hides behind the German Labor Market Miracle? Unemployment Insurance Reforms and Labor Market Dynamics," IZA Discussion Papers 12001, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp12001.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
    2. Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2013. "Estimating Incentive And Welfare Effects Of Nonstationary Unemployment Benefits," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 1159-1198, November.
    3. Michael C. Burda, 2016. "No Role for the Hartz Reforms? Demand and Supply Factors in the German Labor Market, 1993-2014," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2016-010, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    4. Chetty, Raj, 2006. "A general formula for the optimal level of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1879-1901, November.
    5. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2016. "The Limited Macroeconomic Effects of Unemployment Benefit Extensions," NBER Working Papers 22163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    7. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-1362, December.
    8. Tuit, Sander & van Ours, Jan C., 2010. "How changes in unemployment benefit duration affect the inflow into unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 105-107, November.
    9. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter, 2016. "The Effects of Unemployment Insurance Benefits: New Evidence and Interpretation," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 547-581, October.
    10. Balleer, Almut & Gehrke, Britta & Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian, 2016. "Does short-time work save jobs? A business cycle analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 99-122.
    11. Balleer, Almut & Gehrke, Britta & Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian, 2016. "Does short-time work save jobs? A business cycle analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 99-122.
    12. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
    13. Katz, Lawrence F. & Meyer, Bruce D., 1990. "The impact of the potential duration of unemployment benefits on the duration of unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 45-72, February.
    14. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
    15. Dauth, Wolfgang & Findeisen, Sebastian & Südekum, Jens, 2016. "Adjusting to Globalization - Evidence from Worker-Establishment Matches in Germany," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145522, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Murtin, Fabrice & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2018. "Labor market reforms and unemployment dynamics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 3-19.
    17. 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.
    18. van Ours, Jan C. & Tuit, Sander, 2010. "How Changes in Unemployment Benefit Duration Affect the Inflow into Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 4691, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-438, April.
    20. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877.
    21. Benjamin Schoefer, 2018. "Marginal Jobs and Job Surplus: Evidence from Separations and Unemployment Insurance," 2018 Meeting Papers 1309, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    22. By Matthias S. Hertweck & Oliver Sigrist, 2015. "The ins and outs of German unemployment: a transatlantic perspective," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 1078-1095.
    23. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. What Hides behind the German Labor Market Miracle? Unemployment Insurance Reforms and Labor Market Dynamics
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2019-02-02 22:34:10

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:iab:iabdpa:201924 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Simon Jäger & Benjamin Schoefer & Josef Zweimüller, 2018. "Marginal jobs and job surplus: a test of the efficiency of separations," ECON - Working Papers 314, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    3. Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Truger, Achim & Wieland, Volker, 2019. "Den Strukturwandel meistern. Jahresgutachten 2019/20," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201920.
    4. Philip Jung & Anke Hassel & Robert Habeck & Matthias Knuth & Alexander Spermann & Hans Peter Grüner & Maximilian Joseph Blömer & Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl, 2019. "Reformvorschläge für den Arbeitsmarkt: Ist Hartz IV noch zukunftsfähig?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 72(06), pages 03-25, March.
    5. Hilmar Schneider, 2019. "The labor market in Germany, 2000–2018," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 379-379, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment insurance; labor market flows; endogenous separations;

    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
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.