Were the Hartz Reforms Responsible for the Improved Performance of the German Labour Market?

14 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2013  

Metin Akyol

Technical University of Darmstadt

Michael Neugart

Technische Universität Darmstadt

Stefan Pichler

KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zürich

Date Written: February 2013

Abstract

From 2005 to 2011 employment rose and unemployment rates declined considerably in Germany. This favourable development followed the labour market reforms initiated in 2003, and there has been a tendency to attribute the improved labour market performance to those reforms. Causal micro‐evaluations of the various measures, however, show hardly any effects on variables that can be related to employment. Rather, it seems that employment increased in response to a process of wage moderation that had already begun in the 1990s. It is possible that this moderation was itself partially a product of the reforms, but this needs further investigation.

Keywords: Germany, Hartz reforms, labour markets, unemployment

JEL Classification: J38, J48, J58, J64, J68

Suggested Citation

Akyol, Metin and Neugart, Michael and Pichler, Stefan, Were the Hartz Reforms Responsible for the Improved Performance of the German Labour Market? (February 2013). Economic Affairs, Vol. 33, Issue 1, pp. 34-47, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2213123 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecaf.12002

Metin Akyol (Contact Author)

Technical University of Darmstadt ( email )

D-64283 Darmstadt
Germany

Michael Neugart

Technische Universität Darmstadt ( email )

Bleichstraße 2
Darmstadt, 64283
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.vwl3.wi.tu-darmstadt.de/fachgebiete_10/startseite_6/index.en.jsp

Stefan Pichler

KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zürich ( email )

Leonhardstrasse 21
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.kof.ethz.ch

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