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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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File URL: http://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/32929/1/Krebs_%26_Scheffel_12%2D23.pdf
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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
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Handle: RePEc:mnh:wpaper:32929
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  3. Addison, John T. & Centeno, Mario & Portugal, Pedro, 2008. "Unemployment Benefits and Reservation Wages: Key Elasticities from a Stripped-Down Job Search Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 3357, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  7. Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2010. "Estimating Incentive and Welfare Effects of Non-stationary Unemployment Benefits," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 328, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  8. 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.
  9. Hunt, Jennifer, 1995. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 88-120, January.
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  12. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "A Macroeconomic Theory of Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 16526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alvarez, Fernando & Stokey, Nancy L., 1998. "Dynamic Programming with Homogeneous Functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 167-189, September.
  14. Jacobi, Lena & Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "Before and After the Hartz Reforms: The Performance of Active Labour Market Policy in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 2100, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. 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.
  16. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Optimal unemployment insurance over the business cycle," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58321, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  17. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2011. "What Explains the German Labor Market Miracle in the Great Recession?," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2011-031, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  18. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  19. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Productivity Gains from Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 7352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Philip, Jung & Moritz, Kuhn, 2011. "The Era of the U.S.-Europe Labor Market Divide: What can we learn?," MPRA Paper 32322, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  24. Jacobi, Lena & Kluve, Jochen, 2006. "Before and After the Hartz Reforms: The Performance of Active Labour Market Policy in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 41, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI).
  25. Tom Krebs, 2003. "Human Capital Risk and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 709-744.
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