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Evaluating the German "Mini-Job" Reform Using a True Natural Experiment

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  • Caliendo, Marco

    () (University of Potsdam)

  • Wrohlich, Katharina

    () (DIW Berlin)

Abstract

Increasing work incentives for people with low incomes is a common topic in the policy debate across European countries. The "Mini-Job" reform in Germany – introduced on April 1, 2003 – can be seen in line with these policies, exempting labour income below a certain threshold from taxes and employees’ social security contributions. We carry out an ex-post evaluation to identify the short-run effects of this reform. Our identification strategy uses an exogenous variation in the interview months in the German Socio-Economic Panel, that allows us to distinguish groups that are (or are not) affected by the reform. To account for seasonal effects we additionally use a difference-in-differences strategy. The results show that the short-run effects of the reform are limited. We find no significant short-run effects for marginal employment. However, there is evidence that single men who are already employed react immediately and increase secondary job holding.

Suggested Citation

  • Caliendo, Marco & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2006. "Evaluating the German "Mini-Job" Reform Using a True Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2041, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2041
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Julian McCrae & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The labour market impact of the working families’ tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 75-103, March.
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    3. Blundell, Richard, 2000. "Work Incentives and 'In-Work' Benefit Reforms: A Review," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 27-44, Spring.
    4. Moffitt, Robert A., 2002. "Welfare programs and labor supply," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 34, pages 2393-2430 Elsevier.
    5. Kristian Orsini, 2006. "Tax-benefits reforms and the labor market: evidence from Belgium and other EU countries," Working Papers Department of Economics ces0606, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    6. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    7. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
    8. Jürgen Schupp & Elisabeth Birkner, 2004. "Kleine Beschäftigungsverhältnisse: kein Jobwunder: dauerhafter Rückgang von Zweitbeschäftigungen?," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 71(34), pages 487-497.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Caliendo, Marco, 2009. "Income support systems, labor market policies and labor supply: the German experience," Working Paper Series 2009:26, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    2. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Launov, Andrey & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2018. "The Fall in German Unemployment: A Flow Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 11442, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Zoe Adams & Simon Deakin, 2014. "Institutional Solutions to Precariousness & Inequality in Labour Markets," Working Papers wp463, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    4. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen & Uhlendorff, Arne, 2016. "Earnings exemptions for unemployed workers: The relationship between marginal employment, unemployment duration and job quality," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 177-193.
    5. Alessandro Sola, 2018. "The 2015 Refugee Crisis in Germany: Concerns about Immigration and Populism," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 966, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Oral, Isil & Santos, Indhira & Zhang, Fan, 2012. "Climate change policies and employment in Eastern Europe and Central Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6294, The World Bank.
    7. Müller, Kai-Uwe & Steiner, Viktor, 2011. "Beschäftigungswirkungen von Lohnsubventionen und Mindestlöhnen - Zur Reform des Niedriglohnsektors in Deutschland," Discussion Papers 2011/4, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    8. Matthias Collischon & Kamila Cygan-Rehm & Regina T. Riphahn, 2018. "Employment Effects of Payroll Tax Subsidies," CESifo Working Paper Series 7111, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    evaluation; natural experiment; marginal employment; difference-in-differences;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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