Redesigning the Welfare State: Germany's Current Agenda for an Activating Social Assistance

Hans-Werner Sinn, Christian Holzner, Wolfgang Meister, Wolfgang Ochel, Martin Werding

Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK; Northhampton, USA, 2006, 204 pages.

Redesigning the Welfare State argues that the current high level of unemployment in Germany not only creates a major challenge for the German welfare state, but is to a good extent caused by the way the country's welfare system is designed.

The authors review the public debate on labour market reforms, which has been ongoing since 2002, and discuss the first set of reforms that have been enacted since then. As the reforms carried out so far fall short of what is actually needed to increase employment and economic growth in the Eurozone’s largest economy, the authors introduce a proposal for a more fundamental redesign of the German welfare state.

With comparative discussions of important elements of recent labour market reforms in the US, the UK and the rest of Europe, this book will appeal to all labour market researchers, and to those with an interest in applied work and policy advising in Germany. It will also appeal to decision makers and experts at international organisations and think tanks with a specialisation on Europe and Germany.


Hans-Werner Sinn, President, Ifo Institute of Economic Research, Professor of Economics and Public Finance and Director, Center for Economic Studies, University of Munich, Germany, Christian Holzner, Wolfgang Meister, Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Wolfgang Ochel, Ifo Institute for Economic Research and CESifo Research Network, Germany and Martin Werding, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany.                


Series: Ifo Economic Policy
Hardcover: 204 pages
Publisher: Edward Elgar Pub (December 6, 2006)
ISBN: 184720077X

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Introduction: Securing a Minimum Level of Income in the Welfare State
1. Welfare Benefits and Unemployment: The Diagnosis
2. The Debate on Reforms and How It Shaped the Current Political Agenda
3. Welfare to Work: Ifo’s Proposal
4. Actual Reforms Enacted So Far
5. The 2005 Reform and Ifo’s Proposal
6. Conclusion