C·A·P Home > Publikationen > 2007 > Labour Market in Germany

Big Reform with Little Effect? Labour Market and Employment Policy in Germany

Working Paper by Daniel Buhr and Josef Schmid

Daniel Buhr, Josef Schmid: Big Reform with Little Effect? Labour Market and Employment Policy in Germany, C·A·P Working Paper, Juli 2007.

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This paper was developed within the project "The Impact of EU Enlargement on European Integration and the Global Political Economy" that the C·A·P jointly conducts with the Centre for European Studies at the Renmin University of China. This project is supported by the European Commission in the framework of the EU-China European Studies Centres Programme.

03.07.2007 · EU-China European Studies


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German politics has been busy with the problem of continuous mass unemployment in recent years. Especially with the change of the government in 1998 some reforms have been established. Significant for the new drive were the results of the so called "Hartz-commission". Just before the Bundestag elections in autumn 2002, the commission presented their results whereon the Federal Government promised a speedy implementation. With the law packages Hartz I to IV this has also been realised, but with hardly any success in the beginning: the unemployment rate did not considerably decrease, the costs "ran out of the rudder", more and more implementation deficits appeared. What happened? How can the dialectics of the big plans on the paper and the small results in practice, i.e. "the successful failure" (Seibel 1991) be explained?

About the authors:

Prof. Dr. Josef Schmid holds a professorship of Economic Policy and Comparative Policy Analysis at the Institute of Political Science, Eberhard-Karls-University Tuebingen. Daniel Buhr is assistant lecturer at the same institute.


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