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German Labor Market and Fiscal Reforms 1999 to 2008: Can They be Blamed for Intra-Euro Area Imbalances?

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  • Gadatsch, Niklas
  • Stähler, Nikolai
  • Weigert, Benjamin

Abstract

In this paper, we assess the impact of major German structural reforms from 1999 to 2008 on key macroeconomic variables within a two-country monetary union DSGE model. By many, these reforms, especially the Hartz reforms on the labor market, are considered to be the root of thereafter observed imbalances in the Euro Area. We find that, in terms of German GDP, consumption, investment and (un)employment, the reforms were a clear success albeit the impact on the German current account was only minor. Most importantly, the rest of the Euro Area benefited from positive spillover effects. Hence, our analysis suggests that the reforms cannot be held responsible for the currently observed macroeconomic imbalances within the Euro Area.

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  • Gadatsch, Niklas & Stähler, Nikolai & Weigert, Benjamin, 2015. "German Labor Market and Fiscal Reforms 1999 to 2008: Can They be Blamed for Intra-Euro Area Imbalances?," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112960, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc15:112960
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    4. Ruppert, Kilian & Stähler, Nikolai, 2020. "Household savings, capital investments and public policies: What drives the German current account?," Discussion Papers 41/2020, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    5. Timo Bettendorf & Miguel A. León‐Ledesma, 2019. "German Wage Moderation and European Imbalances: Feeding the Global VAR with Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 51(2-3), pages 617-653, March.
    6. Bofinger, Peter & Schnabel, Isabel & Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Wieland, Volker, 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.
    7. Taiki Murai & Gunther Schnabl, 2021. "Macroeconomic Policy Making and Current Account Imbalances in the Euro Area," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 53(3), pages 347-373.
    8. Casares, Miguel & Vázquez, Jesús, 2018. "Why are labor markets in Spain and Germany so different?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 320-335.
    9. Hochmuth, Brigitte & Moyen, Stephane & Stähler, Nikolai, 2019. "Labor market reforms, precautionary savings, and global imbalances," Discussion Papers 13/2019, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    10. Ruppert, Kilian & Schön, Matthias & Stähler, Nikolai, 2021. "Consumption taxation to finance pension payments," Discussion Papers 47/2021, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    11. Ruppert, Kilian & Stähler, Nikolai, 2022. "What drives the German current account? Household savings, capital investments and public policies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    12. Bofinger, Peter & Schnabel, Isabel & Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Wieland, Volker, 2015. "Zukunftsfähigkeit in den Mittelpunkt. Jahresgutachten 2015/16," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201516.
    13. Hinterlang, Natascha & Moyen, Stéphane & Röhe, Oke & Stähler, Nikolai, 2021. "Gauging the effects of the German COVID-19 fiscal stimulus package," Discussion Papers 43/2021, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    14. Alexander Herzog-Stein & Heike Joebges & Torsten Niechoj & Ulrike Stein & Rudolf Zwiener, 2015. "German labour costs have risen only moderately," IMK Report 109e-2015, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    15. Attinasi, Maria-Grazia & Prammer, Doris & Stähler, Nikolai & Tasso, Martino & Van Parys, Stefan, 2016. "Budget-neutral labour tax wedge reductions: A simulation-based analysis for selected euro area countries," Discussion Papers 26/2016, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    16. Maria-Grazia Attinasi & Doris Prammer & Nikolai Stähler & Martino Tasso & Stefan van Parys, 2019. "Budget-Neutral Labor Tax Wedge Reductions: A Sumulation-Based Analysis for the Euro Area," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 15(4), pages 1-54, October.

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    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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