Agenda 2010: Neues unter Deutschlands Himmel?

The paper analyzes to what extent the reform of the German social security and welfare system, known as the “Hartz-IV-Reforms” under the “Agenda 2010”, has been successful. It is shown that the integration of welfare and social security payments increased efficiency as did prior deregulations of the labor market. However, the implementation was partly inefficient due to a misalignment between crucial instruments and incentive structure of individuals. This led to unforeseen expenditures that partly continue until today. Due to this inefficiency, parts of the reform lost its political acceptance. Furthermore, the article shows that many of these reforms had already been prepared intellectually by selected think tanks in the 90ies. The reforms are consistent with a consensus among scholars regarding the ability of the modern state to protect citizens from individual life risks. Finally, the article discusses the future agenda with respect to other important economic policy instruments beyond the integration of welfare and social security such as incentive structure in the established taxation system.

29. July 2008

Authors Ulrich Blum

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