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Before and After the Hartz Reforms: The Performance of Active Labour Market Policy in Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Jacobi, Lena

    () (RWI)

  • Kluve, Jochen

    () (Humboldt University Berlin, RWI)

Abstract

Having faced high unemployment rates for more than a decade, the German government implemented a comprehensive set of labour market reforms during the period 2003-2005. This paper describes the economic and institutional context of the German labour market before and after these so-called Hartz reforms. Focussing on active policy measures, we delineate the rationale for reform and its main principles. As results of programme evaluation studies post-reform have become available just now, we give a first assessment of the effectiveness of key elements of German ALMP before and after the Hartz reforms. The evidence indicates that the re-organisation of public employment services was mainly successful, with the exception of the outsourcing of services. Re-designing training programmes seems to have improved their effectiveness, while job creation schemes continue to be detrimental for participants' employment prospects. Wage subsidies and start-up subsidies show significantly positive effects. On balance, therefore, the reform seems to be moving the German labour market in the right direction.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacobi, Lena & Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "Before and After the Hartz Reforms: The Performance of Active Labour Market Policy in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 2100, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2100
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Lechner, 2000. "An Evaluation of Public-Sector-Sponsored Continuous Vocational Training Programs in East Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 347-375.
    2. Marco Caliendo & Viktor Steiner, 2005. "Aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland: Bestandsaufnahme und Bewertung der mikroökonomischen Evaluationsergebnisse," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 515, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Fertig, Michael & Kluve, Jochen & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Apel, Helmut & Friedrich, Werner & Hägele, Helmut, 2004. "Die Hartz-Gesetze zur Arbeitsmarktpolitik: Ein umfassendes Evaluationskonzept," RWI Schriften, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, volume 74, number 74.
    4. Eichler, Martin & Lechner, Michael, 2002. "An evaluation of public employment programmes in the East German State of Sachsen-Anhalt," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 143-186, April.
    5. Hagen, Tobias, 2003. "Three Approaches to the Evaluation of Active Labour Market Policy in East Germany Using Regional Data," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-27, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Reinhard Hujer & Uwe Blien & Marco Caliendo & Christopher Zeiss, 2006. "Macroeconometric Evaluation of Active Labour Market Policies in Germany. A Dynamic Panel Approach Using Regional Data," AIEL Series in Labour Economics,in: Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Sergio Destefanis (ed.), The European Labour Market. Regional Dimensions, edition 1, chapter 14, pages 287-309 AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.
    7. Eva Reinowski & Birgit Schultz & Jürgen Wiemers, 2005. "Evaluation of Further Training Programmes with an Optimal Matching Algorithm," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(IV), pages 585-616, December.
    8. Fertig, Michael & Kluve, Jochen, 2004. "A Conceptual Framework for the Evaluation of Comprehensive Labor Market Policy Reforms in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 13, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    9. Fertig, Michael & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schneider, Hilmar, 2006. "Active labor market policy in Germany--Is there a successful policy strategy?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 399-430, May.
    10. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Reize, Frank, 2000. "Business start-ups by the unemployed -- an econometric analysis based on firm data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 629-663, September.
    11. Fertig, Michael & Kluve, Jochen, 2004. "A Conceptual Framework for the Evaluation of Comprehensive Labor Market Policy Reforms in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1099, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Earnings and Employment Effects of Continuous Off-the-Job Training in East Germany after Unification," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 74-90, January.
    13. Conny Wunsch, 2005. "Labour Market Policy in Germany: Institutions, Instruments and Reforms since Unification," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2005 2005-06, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    programme evaluation; Active Labour Market Policy; labour market reform;

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • J88 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Public Policy

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