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Advancement by entering the labour market

The Hartz reforms of 2003 to 2005 are among the most far-reaching labour market reforms in recent German history. On the one hand, critics criticise the negative consequences of a large low-wage sector by European standards, in particular the fact that many workers remain in low-paid employment. On the other hand, supporters of the Hartz reforms see this as confirmation of successful activation policies.

Under the direction of DIW Econ Senior Research Associate Prof Dr Timm Bönke, DIW Econ is examining the impact of the activation policy aspects of the Hartz reforms on behalf of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and the Labour Market and Social Security Panel (PASS), they conducted extensive analyses of thousands of unemployment biographies of people who have managed to enter the labour market since the 2005 labour market reforms.

The low-wage sector in Germany – Trap or springboard for employees?

Around the turn of the millennium, the number of unemployed people in Germany increased significantly. As a result, the then Federal Government favoured the emergence of a relatively large low-wage sector through various labour market reforms.

Under the direction of Dr Markus M. Grabka, DIW Econ conducted a comprehensive analysis of the structure of the low-wage sector and the associated mobility dynamics based on data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

The nine-point plan: employment and climate change effects of a green recovery plan

On behalf of Greenpeace, DIW Econ GmbH, together with the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and the Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft (FÖS), has for the first time calculated the employment and climate protection effects of selected green economic stimulus packages. For this purpose, nine packages of measures for a climate-oriented economic stimulus package in the energy, transport, buildings, industry and land-use sectors were compiled from a total of 285 collected proposals for economic stimulus measures: The nine-point plan. The packages of measures contained in this plan allow both short-term employment effects and a medium and long-term resilient, climate-friendly economy.ise.

The social-ecological market economy

Germany’s successful economic system has been known as a social-ecological market economy since the 1980s. The basis of “Made in Germany” is stability, trust and the maintenance of high social and environmental standards, which can be costly in the short term, but are at the same time essential drivers of productivity growth and long-term technological developments.

The German model is not transferable one-to-one to other countries, but experience can help policymakers to develop reform initiatives for their countries.