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The German Labor Market after the Great Recession: Successful Reforms and Future Challenges

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  • Caliendo, Marco

    () (University of Potsdam)

  • Hogenacker, Jens

    () (ConVista Consulting AG)

Abstract

The reaction of the German labor market to the Great Recession 2008/09 was relatively mild – especially compared to other countries. The reason lies not only in the specific type of the recession – which was favorable for the German economy structure – but also in a series of labor market reforms initiated between 2002 and 2005 altering, inter alia, labor supply incentives. However, irrespective of the mild response to the Great Recession, there are a number of substantial future challenges the German labor market will soon have to face. Female labor supply still lies well below that of other countries and a massive demographic change over the next 50 years will have substantial effects on labor supply as well as the pension system. In addition, due to a skill-biased technological change over the next decades, firms will face problems of finding employees with adequate skills. The aim of this paper is threefold. First, we outline why the German labor market reacted in such a mild fashion, describe current economic trends of the labor market in light of general trends in the European Union, and reveal some of the main associated challenges. Thereafter, the paper analyzes recent reforms of the main institutional settings of the labor market which influence labor supply. Finally, based on the status quo of these institutional settings, the paper gives a brief overview of strategies to combat adequately the challenges in terms of labor supply and to ensure economic growth in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Caliendo, Marco & Hogenacker, Jens, 2012. "The German Labor Market after the Great Recession: Successful Reforms and Future Challenges," IZA Discussion Papers 6810, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6810
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Riphahn, Regina T. & Wiynck, Frederik, 2016. "Fertility effects of child benefits," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 04/2016, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    2. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen & Mahlstedt, Robert, 2017. "The return to labor market mobility: An evaluation of relocation assistance for the unemployed," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 136-151.
    3. Werner Eichhorst & Verena Tobsch, 2013. "Has Atypical Work Become Typical in Germany?: Country Case Studies on Labour Market Segmentation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 596, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der Gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung (ed.), 2013. "Gegen eine rückwärtsgewandte Wirtschaftspolitik. Jahresgutachten 2013/14," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201314.
    5. Burda Michael C. & Seele Stefanie, 2017. "Das deutsche Arbeitsmarktwunder: Eine Bilanz," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, pages 179-204.
    6. repec:ilo:ilowps:481496 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen & Weißenberger, Martin, 2016. "Personality traits and the evaluation of start-up subsidies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 87-108.
    8. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen & Mahlstedt, Robert, 2017. "Mobility Assistance Programmes for Unemployed Workers, Job Search Behaviour and Labour Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 11169, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. 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.
    10. Berg, Peter B. & Hamman, Mary K. & Piszczek, Matthew & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Can Policy Facilitate Partial Retirement? Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 9266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Bellmann, Lutz & Caliendo, Marco & Tübbicke, Stefan, 2017. "The Post-Reform Effectiveness of the New German Start-Up Subsidy for the Unemployed," IZA Discussion Papers 11055, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Victoria Osuna & J. García-Pérez, 2015. "On the Effectiveness of Short-time Work Schemes in Dual Labor Markets," De Economist, Springer, pages 323-351.
    13. Marco Caliendo & Jens Hogenacker & Steffen Künn & Frank Wießner, 2015. "Subsidized start-ups out of unemployment: a comparison to regular business start-ups," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 165-190, June.
    14. Holtemöller, Oliver & Brautzsch, Hans-Ulrich & Drechsel, Katja & Drygalla, Andrej & Giesen, Sebastian & Hennecke, Peter & Kiesel, Konstantin & Loose, Brigitte & Meier, Carsten-Patrick & Zeddies, Götz, 2015. "Ökonomische Wirksamkeit der Konjunktur stützenden finanzpolitischen Maßnahmen der Jahre 2008 und 2009. Forschungsvorhaben im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums der Finanzen," IWH Online 4/2015, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    15. Indermit Gill & Johannes Koettl & Truman Packard, 2013. "Full employment: a distant dream for Europe," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-34, December.
    16. Eichhorst, Werner & Tobsch, Verena, 2013. "Has Atypical Work Become Typical in Germany?," IZA Discussion Papers 7609, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Alessio J. G. Brown, 2015. "Can hiring subsidies benefit the unemployed?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 163-163, June.
    18. Regina T. Riphahn & Christoph Wunder, 2016. "State dependence in welfare receipt: transitions before and after a reform," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1303-1329, June.
    19. Marco Caliendo, 2016. "Start-up subsidies for the unemployed: Opportunities and limitations," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 200-200, March.
    20. Eichhorst, Werner & Weishaupt, J. Timo, 2013. "Mit Neo-Korporatismus durch die Krise? Die Rolle des Sozialen Dialogs in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz," IZA Discussion Papers 7498, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der Gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung (ed.), 2014. "Mehr Vertrauen in Marktprozesse. Jahresgutachten 2014/15," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201415.

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    Keywords

    unemployment; benefit systems; labor supply; labor force participation; public policy;

    JEL classification:

    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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