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Intensified activation for disadvantaged welfare recipients in Germany: does it work?

Katharina Dengler (Joint Graduate Programme of the IAB, Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg, Germany and School of Business and Economics at FAU, Friedrich‐Alexander University Erlangen‐Nuremberg (FAU), Nuremberg, Germany)
Katrin Hohmeyer (Basic Income Support and Activation, Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg, Germany)
Andreas Moczall (Forecasts and Structural Analyses, Joint Graduate Programme of the IAB, Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg, Germany and School of Business and Economics at FAU, Friedrich‐Alexander University Erlangen‐Nuremberg (FAU), Nuremberg, Germany)
Joachim Wolff (Basic Income Support and Activation, Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg, Germany)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 14 June 2013

339

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the implementation and effectiveness of an intensified activation scheme for very disadvantaged welfare recipients in Germany, used as a targeting device for a very generous wage subsidy (JobPerspective).

Design/methodology/approach

Using administrative data and a difference‐in‐difference approach, the authors analyse the implementation of the activation scheme and its impact on various labour market outcomes. To ensure that target and comparison group are comparable over time, the authors control for various individual, household and regional characteristics.

Findings

The activation of the target group of disadvantaged welfare recipients is modestly intensified directly after the scheme's introduction. This does not improve the prospects of the target group to work in regular jobs, but – as a first step – in subsidized jobs. Considering a later period, evidence was found for broader activation efforts together with some gains in the regular employment for disadvantaged welfare recipients. Overall, the results suggest that the implementation of activation for disadvantaged welfare recipients, as well as employment gains, need time.

Originality/value

This study analyses whether and how a scheme of intensified activation that leaves its design to local actors, without providing additional funding, makes job centres implement such a policy.

Keywords

Citation

Dengler, K., Hohmeyer, K., Moczall, A. and Wolff, J. (2013), "Intensified activation for disadvantaged welfare recipients in Germany: does it work?", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 33 No. 5/6, pp. 289-308. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-07-2012-0062

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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