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What hides behind the German labor market miracle? Unemployment insurance reforms and labor market dynamics

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Listed:
  • Moritz Kuhn

    (University of Bonn)

  • Benjamin Hartung

    (University of Bonn)

  • Philip Jung

    (TU Dortmund)

Abstract

A key question in labor market research is how the unemployment insurance system affects unemployment rates and labor market dynamics. We revisit this old question studying the German Hartz reforms. On average, lower separation rates explain 76% of declining unemployment after the reform, a fact unexplained by existing research focusing on job finding rates. The reduction in separation rates is heterogeneous, with long-term employed, high-wage workers being most affected. We causally link our empirical findings to the reduction in long-term unemployment benefits using a heterogeneous-agent labor market search model. Absent the reform, unemployment rates would be 50% higher today.

Suggested Citation

  • Moritz Kuhn & Benjamin Hartung & Philip Jung, 2019. "What hides behind the German labor market miracle? Unemployment insurance reforms and labor market dynamics," 2019 Meeting Papers 284, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed019:284
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. What Hides behind the German Labor Market Miracle? Unemployment Insurance Reforms and Labor Market Dynamics
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2019-02-02 22:34:10

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Biewen & Miriam Sturm, 2021. "Why a Labour Market Boom Does Not Necessarily Bring Down Inequality: Putting Together Germany’s Inequality Puzzle," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1139, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Philip Jung & Anke Hassel & Robert Habeck & Matthias Knuth & Alexander Spermann & Hans Peter Grüner & Maximilian Joseph Blömer & Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl, 2019. "Reformvorschläge für den Arbeitsmarkt: Ist Hartz IV noch zukunftsfähig?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 72(06), pages 03-25, March.
    3. Moritz Kuhn & Iourii Manovskii & Xincheng Qiu, 2021. "The Geography of Job Creation and Job Destruction," NBER Working Papers 29399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Launov, Andrey & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2021. "The fall in german unemployment: A flow analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    5. Simon Jäger & Benjamin Schoefer & Josef Zweimüller, 2018. "Marginal jobs and job surplus: a test of the efficiency of separations," ECON - Working Papers 314, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    6. Kraft, Kornelius & Lammers, Alexander, 2021. "The Effects of Reforming a Federal Employment Agency on Labor Demand," IZA Discussion Papers 14629, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Gartner, Hermann & Leo, Kaas, 2020. "Recruitment Policies, Job-Filling Rates and Matching Efficiency," IAB-Discussion Paper 202015, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    8. Kraft, Kornelius & Lammers, Alexander, 2021. "Bargaining Power and the Labor Share - a Structural Break Approach," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242342, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Camarero Garcia, Sebastian & Murmann, Martin, 2020. "Unemployment benefit duration and startup success," ZEW Discussion Papers 20-033, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    10. Gartner, Hermann & Rothe, Thomas & Weber, Enzo, 2019. "The quality-weighted matching function: Did the German labour market reforms trade of efficiency against job quality?," IAB-Discussion Paper 201924, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    11. Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Truger, Achim & Wieland, Volker, 2019. "Den Strukturwandel meistern. Jahresgutachten 2019/20," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201920, November.
    12. Jung, Philip & Korfmann, Philipp & Preugschat, Edgar, 2021. "Optimal Regional Labor Market Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 14204, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Hilmar Schneider, 2019. "The labor market in Germany, 2000–2018," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 379-379, December.
    14. Burda Michael C. & Seele Stefanie, 2020. "Reevaluating the German labor market miracle," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 21(2), pages 139-179, June.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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