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Kombilohn oder Workfare? Zur Wirksamkeit zweier arbeitsmarktpolitischer Strategien

Listed author(s):
  • Bonin, Holger



  • Kempe, Wolfram


    (Deutsche Bundesbank)

  • Schneider, Hilmar



Das heutige System der sozialen Mindestsicherung verhindert in Deutschland die Ausbildung eines Niedriglohnsektors. Dies ist eine wesentliche Ursache für die hohe Arbeitslosigkeit Geringqualifizierter. Dieser Beitrag stellt zwei häufig genannte Maßnahmen zur Überwindung sozialstaatlicher Beschäftigungsschwellen einander gegenüber. Am Beispiel eines aktuellen, symptomorientierten Vorschlags für Lohnsubventionen durch Absenkung der Arbeitnehmerbeiträge zur Sozialversicherung auf niedrige Einkommen wird gezeigt, dass Förderung kleiner Markteinkommen durch Kombilöhne die Erwerbsbeteiligung nur unwesentlich erhöht. Zugleich können Mitnahmeeffekte entstehen, mit denen unerwünschte Arbeitszeitwirkungen und hohe fiskalische Kosten verbunden sind. Ein alternativer, ursachenorientierter Ansatz ist die Senkung des sozialen Leistungsniveaus durch Workfare. Eine Abschätzung des Einkommenspotenzials von Transferbeziehern auf Grundlage des Sozio-ökonomischen Panels veranschaulicht, dass sich mit der Verpflichtung erwerbsfähiger Sozialhilfeempfänger zu sozial nützlicher Arbeit bei unverändertem Niveau der sozialen Mindestsicherung deutlich positive Beschäftigungseffekte erzielen lassen. Wage Subsidies vs. Workfare: On the Effectiveness of Alternative Strategies to Promote Low-Skilled Employment in Germany The German system of generous subsistence payments to the unemployed generates disincentives for labor supply, preventing employment at low wages. This creates substantial unemployment of the low-skilled. This paper discusses the quantitative effects of two frequent proposals to overcome the work barriers set up by the welfare state. Using a recent concept of raising in-work income through cutting social insurance contributions at low earnings as an example, we illustrate that wage subsidies have negligible impact on labor force participation. In addition, the policy might have costly side effects, as it creates parttime incentives beyond the target group of the low qualified. As an alternative, we assess the labor market impact of a workfare strategy. The potential wages of transfer recipients, estimated on the basis of the German Socio-Economic Panel, suggest that combining social transfers with the obligation to work could substantially improve labor market performance of the employable low-skilled.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 587.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2002
Publication status: published in: Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, 2003, 72 (1), 51-67
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp587
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IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

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Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

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  1. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2002. "Die Höhle in der Eiger-Nordwand - Eine Anmerkung zum Mainzer Modell und zum Wohlfahrtsstaat an sich," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 55(03), pages 20-25, February.
  2. Bernd Fitzenberger & Reinhard Hujer, 2002. "Stand und Perspektiven der Evaluation der Aktiven Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(2), pages 139-158, May.
  3. Daron Acemoglu, 1999. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1259-1278, December.
  4. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  5. Peter Dolton & Yvonne Balfour, 2002. "Der New Deal, "Welfare to Work"-Programme in Großbritannien," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(2), pages 175-187, May.
  6. Spermann Alexander, 1999. "Fighting Long-term Unemployment with Targeted Employment Subsidies: Benefit Transfer Programme (BTP) versus Targeted Negative Income Tax (TNIT) / Die Bekämpfung der Langzeitarbeitslosigkeit durch ziel," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 218(5-6), pages 647-657, October.
  7. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  8. Schneider, Hilmar & Zimmermann, Klaus F. & Bonin, Holger & Brenke, Karl & Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Kempe, Wolfram, 2002. "Report No. 5: Beschäftigungspotenziale einer dualen Förderstrategie im Niedriglohnbereich," IZA Research Reports 5, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Annette Mummert & Friedrich Schneider, 2001. "The German Shadow Economy: Parted in a United Germany?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(3), pages 286-286, July.
  10. Holger Bonin & Wolfram Kempe & Hilmar Schneider, 2003. "Kombilohn oder Workfare?: Zur Wirksamkeit zweier arbeitsmarktpolitischer Strategien," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 72(1), pages 51-67.
  11. George E. Johnson, 1997. "Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Role of Demand Shifts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 41-54, Spring.
  12. Bonin, Holger & Kempe, Wolfram & Schneider, Hilmar, 2002. "Household Labor Supply Effects of Low-Wage Subsidies in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 637, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Cockx, Bart & Dejemeppe, Muriel, 2002. "Do the Higher Educated Unemployed Crowd Out the Lower Educated Ones in a Competition for Jobs?," IZA Discussion Papers 541, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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