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Start-Up Subsidies in East Germany: Finally, a Policy that Works?

  • Caliendo, Marco


    (University of Potsdam)

The German government has spent between 7bn and 11bn Euro per year on active labor market policies (ALMP) in East Germany in the last decade. The effectiveness of the most important programs (in terms of participants and spending) such as job-creation schemes and vocational training has been evaluated quite thoroughly in recent years. The results are disappointing, indicating that nearly all of these ‘traditional’ programs have to be rated as a failure. In light of these findings, policies to encourage unemployed people to become self-employed gained increasing importance. We present first evidence on the effectiveness of two start-up programs in East Germany. Our findings – even though partly preliminary – are rather promising, showing that these programs increase employment chances and earnings of participants. Hence, start-up subsidies might work even in a labor market with structural problems such as the one in East Germany.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3360.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Journal of Manpower, 2009, 30(7), 625-647
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3360
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  1. Hans J. Baumgartner & Marco Caliendo, 2008. "Turning Unemployment into Self-Employment: Effectiveness of Two Start-Up Programmes," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(3), pages 347-373, 06.
  2. Imbens, Guido & Abadie, Alberto, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Scholarly Articles 3043415, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Caliendo, Marco & Hujer, Reinhard & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2005. "The Employment Effects of Job Creation Schemes in Germany: A Microeconometric Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 1512, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  5. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Caliendo, Marco & Hujer, Reinhard, 2005. "The Microeconometric Estimation of Treatment Effects - An Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 1653, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Biewen, Martin & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Osikominu, Aderonke & Waller, Marie, 2007. "Which Program for Whom? Evidence on the Comparative Effectiveness of Public Sponsored Training Programs in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-042, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521586115 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Marco Caliendo & Alexander S. Kritikos, 2009. "Die reformierte Gründungsförderung für Arbeitslose - Chancen und Risiken," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(2), pages 189-213, 05.
  10. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "How Robust is the Evidence on the Effects of College Quality? Evidence From Matching," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20033, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  11. Jose C. GALDO & Jeffrey SMITH & Dan BLACK, 2008. "Bandwidth Selection and the Estimation of Treatment Effects with Unbalanced Data," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 91-92, pages 189-216.
  12. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 6699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  14. Caliendo, Marco & Kopeinig, Sabine, 2005. "Some Practical Guidance for the Implementation of Propensity Score Matching," IZA Discussion Papers 1588, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Caliendo, Marco & Kritikos, Alexander S., 2007. "Start-Ups by the Unemployed: Characteristics, Survival and Direct Employment Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 3220, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521355643 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. John DiNardo & Justin L. Tobias, 2001. "Nonparametric Density and Regression Estimation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 11-28, Fall.
  18. Fredriksson, Peter & Johansson, Per, 2004. "Dynamic Treatment Assignment – The Consequences for Evaluations Using Observational Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1062, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. 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.
  20. Y Georgellis & J G Sessions & N Tsitsianis, 2005. "Self-Employment Longitudinal Dynamics: A Review of the Literature," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 10(2), pages 51-84, September.
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