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Should welfare administration be centralized or decentralized? Evidence from a policy experiment

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  • Boockmann, Bernhard
  • Thomsen, Stephan L.
  • Walter, Thomas
  • Göbel, Christian
  • Huber, Martin

Abstract

The 2005 reform of the German welfare system introduced two competing organizational models for welfare administration. In most districts, a centralized organization was established where local welfare agencies are bound to central directives. At the same time, 69 districts were allowed to opt for a decentralized organization. We evaluate the relative success of both types of organizations. Compared to centralized organization, decentralized organization of welfare administration has a negative effect on the transition of male welfare recipients to self-sufficient employment, but it does not affect employment in combination with continuing welfare support. No significant effects were found for women.

Suggested Citation

  • Boockmann, Bernhard & Thomsen, Stephan L. & Walter, Thomas & Göbel, Christian & Huber, Martin, 2010. "Should welfare administration be centralized or decentralized? Evidence from a policy experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-106, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:10106
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eichhorst, Werner & Grienberger-Zingerle, Maria & Konle-Seidl, Regina, 2006. "Activation Policies in Germany: From Status Protection to Basic Income Support," IZA Discussion Papers 2514, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Lukas Mergele & Michael Weber, 2017. "Public employment services under decentralization: evidence from a natural experiment," Working Papers 2017002, Berlin Doctoral Program in Economics and Management Science (BDPEMS).
    2. Michael Weber, 2016. "The short-run and long-run effects of decentralizing public employment services," ifo Working Paper Series 209, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    3. Regina T. Riphahn & Christoph Wunder, 2016. "State dependence in welfare receipt: transitions before and after a reform," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1303-1329, June.
    4. Lukas Mergele, 2016. "Are there gains from decentralizing public employment offices?," Working Papers 2015020, Berlin Doctoral Program in Economics and Management Science (BDPEMS).
    5. Christian Holzner & Sonja Munz, 2011. "Should Local Public Employment Services be Merged with the Local Social Benefit Administrations?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3472, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Wolfgang Nagl & Michael Weber, 2016. "Stuck in a trap? Long-term unemployment under two-tier unemployment compensation schemes," ifo Working Paper Series 231, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Welfare System; Organization; Decentralization; Labor Market Integration;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models

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