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The evaluation of welfare state performance : modelling a counterfactual world

Was wäre gewesen, wenn...? Evaluation sozialstaatlicher Maßnahmen mithilfe kontrafaktischer Modelle
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Ennen, Jens

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Abstract 'Die sogenannten Hartz-Reformen haben wahrscheinlich zu den wichtigsten und weitreichenden Änderungen auf dem deutschen Arbeitsmarkt in der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik geführt. Die anhaltend hohe Arbeitslosigkeit trotz hoher Ausgaben für aktive und passive Arbeitsmarktmarktpolitik hat Fragen nach den Wirkungen von Sozialpolitik aufgeworfen. Anhand der Hartz Reformen versucht dieser Artikel zu verdeutlichen, wie schwierig es ist den Sozialstaat und seine Elemente im Bezug auf seine Effektivität und Effizienz zu evaluieren. Außerdem werden bekannte Evaluationstechniken und deren funktionsweise verdeutlicht.' (Autorenreferat)

'The evaluation of welfare state performance is an important issue in times of tight government budgets, high unemployment and growing inequality. Policymakers and taxpayers want to know if a specific programme has led to the intended effect, and with no excessive waste of resources. For such evaluations to be thorough and robust, appropriate methods and the right counterfactuals are important. It is difficult to say what would have happened if a certain policy had not been implemented or implemented differently. This holds even more for the impact on a single individual than for aggregate results. This paper will highlight some examples and possibilities of how to deal with counterfactual questions in the context of the Hartz reforms, probably the most far-reaching welfare state and labour market changes in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. Furthermore this reform was the first big attempt of systematic welfare state evaluation in Germany.' (author's abstract)
Keywords alternative; impact analysis; measure; evaluation; labor market policy; Hartz-Reform; social policy; Federal Republic of Germany; evaluation; thinking; effectiveness; efficiency; macroeconomics; microeconomics; social welfare state
Classification Research Design; Labor Market Policy
Method applied research; theory application
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 129-146
Journal Historical Social Research, 34 (2009) 2
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications