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Macroeconomic Evaluation of Labor Market Reform in Germany

  • Krebs, Tom
  • Scheffel, Martin

In 2005 the German government implemented the so-called Hartz IV reform, which amounted to a complete overhaul of the German unemployment insurance system and resulted in a significant reduction in unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. In this paper, we use an incomplete-market model with search unemployment to evaluate the macro-economic and welfare effects of the Hartz IV reform. We calibrate the model economy to German data before the reform and then use the calibrated model economy to simulate the effects of Hartz IV. In our baseline calibration, we find that the reform has reduced the long-run (noncyclical)unemployment rate in Germany by 1.4 percentage points. We also find that the welfare of employed households increases, but the welfare of unemployed households decreases even with moderate degree of risk aversion.

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Paper provided by University of Mannheim, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 12-23.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mnh:wpaper:32929
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  1. Rasmus Lentz, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in an Estimated Job Search Model with Savings," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 37-57, January.
  2. Burda, Michael C. & Hunt, Jennifer, 2011. "What Explains the German Labor Market Miracle in the Great Recession?," IZA Discussion Papers 5800, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  8. John T. Addison & M�Rio Centeno & Pedro Portugal, 2010. "Unemployment Benefits and Reservation Wages: Key Elasticities from a Stripped-Down Job Search Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(305), pages 46-59, 01.
  9. Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2013. "Estimating Incentive And Welfare Effects Of Nonstationary Unemployment Benefits," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 1159-1198, November.
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  12. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  13. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle," Discussion Papers 1303, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
  14. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
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  18. Fahr, René & Sunde, Uwe, 2009. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed-Up the Matching Process? A Macro-Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," Munich Reprints in Economics 20482, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  19. Streufert, Peter A, 1990. "Stationary Recursive Utility and Dynamic Programming under the Assumption of Biconvergence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 79-97, January.
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