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Optimal Tax Credits in the Context of the German System of Apprenticeship Training and Social Security


  • Kai-Joseph Fleischhauer



There is an ongoing discussion in Germany about the implementation of tax credits in order to reintegrate low-skilled workers into the labor market. This paper aims at analyzing the policy instrument of tax credits in a theoretical model that systematically compares its costs and benefits in the context of the German system of apprenticeship training and social security. Building on recent training literature, a two-period partial-equilibrium model is developed that allows for worker heterogeneity in ability. In our model, the implementation of tax credits in terms of a negative income tax solves a trade-off with respect to overall welfare. While tax credits reduce the number of unemployed workers at the extensive margin, they increase at the same time the opportunity costs of apprenticeship training, which implies that human capital formation is decreased. Furthermore, the model suggests that the reintegration of those workers at the bottom of the ability-distribution into the labor market is not optimal. The additional implementation of minimum wages is counteractive to the reduction of unemployment because firms would thus be prevented from employing workers with very low productivities.

Suggested Citation

  • Kai-Joseph Fleischhauer, 2006. "Optimal Tax Credits in the Context of the German System of Apprenticeship Training and Social Security," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2006 2006-21, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2006:2006-21

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    Unemployment of Low-Skilled Workers; Tax Credits; Labor Supply; Human Capital Formation;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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