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

  • Jacobi, Lena

    ()

    (RWI)

  • Kluve, Jochen

    ()

    (Humboldt University Berlin, RWI)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2100.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal for Labour Market Research / Zeitschrift für Arbeitsmarktforschung, 2007, 40 (1), 45-64
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2100
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  1. 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.
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  6. Lechner, Michael & Miquel, Ruth & Wunsch, Conny, 2005. "Long-run effects of public sector sponsored training in West Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 200503, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  7. Reinhard Hujer & Stephan Thomsen & Christopher Zeiss, 2006. "The effects of vocational training programmes on the duration of unemployment in Eastern Germany," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer, vol. 90(2), pages 299-321, June.
  8. Hujer, Reinhard & Caliendo, Marco & Zeiss, Christopher & Blien, Uwe, 2002. "Macroeconometric evaluation of active labour market policies in Germany - a dynamic panel approach using regional data," ERSA conference papers ersa02p225, European Regional Science Association.
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  13. Bernd Fitzenberger & Stefan Speckesser, 2007. "Employment effects of the provision of specific professional skills and techniques in Germany," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 529-573, May.
  14. Eva Reinowski & Birgit Schultz & Jürgen Wiemers, 2003. "Evaluation von Maßnahmen der aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik mit Hilfe eines iterativen Matching-Algorithmus - Eine Fallstudie über langzeitarbeitslose Maßnahmeteilnehmer in Sachsen," IWH Discussion Papers 173, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
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