Journal for Labour Market Research 4/2013: Special Issue PASS
20 December 2013
The impact of low-skilled immigration on female labour supply
19 November 2013
This paper contributes to the literature on the impact of immigrants on native female labour supply. By segmenting the market by educational levels, the authors are able to investigate which nativeborn women are more affected by an increase of low-skilled immigrants working in the household service sector. They present a model of individual choice with home production, using an harmonized dataset (CNEF) and test its main predictions.
IAB-Discussion Paper 20/2013
Recruiting abroad: the role of foreign affinity and labour market scarcity
15 November 2013
The author study the recruiting behaviour of German establishments with regard to the use of foreign labour markets. The results indicate that shortages are functional and foster the use of foreign labour markets, but the large effect of foreign affinity also reveals that the potential of immigrant workers is used selectively.
IAB-Discussion Paper 19/2013
The cyclicality of worker flows: Evidence from Germany
05 November 2013
The development of unemployment and employment is strongly determined by labor market flows. This dissertation analyzes worker flows, i.e. job findings and separations, over the business cycle. The analysis uses process-generated micro data provided by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), which allow gaining comprehensive insights into labor market dynamics in Germany.
Journal for Labour Market Research 3/2013 ( Volume 46)
28 October 2013
Constructing a new leading indicator for unemployment from a survey among German employment agencies
28 October 2013
The paper investigates the predictive power of a new survey implemented by the Federal Employment Agency (FEA) for forecasting German unemployment in the short run. Every month, the CEOs of the FEA's regional agencies are asked about their expectations of future labor market developments. We generate an aggregate unemployment leading indicator that exploits serial correlation in response behavior through identifying and adjusting temporarily unreliable predictions. We use out-of-sample tests suitable in nested model environments to compare forecasting performance of models including the new indicator to that of purely autoregressive benchmarks. For all investigated forecast horizons (1, 2, 3 and 6 months), test results show that models enhanced by the new leading indicator significantly outperform their benchmark counterparts. To compare our indicator to potential competitors we employ the model confidence set. Results reveal that models including the new indicator perform very well.
IAB-Discussion Paper 17/2013
The effectiveness of sequences of One-Euro-Jobs
10 October 2013
Many studies have analysed the effectiveness of single active labour market programmes (ALMPs) for welfare recipients in different countries. As empirical evidence reveals that welfare recipients in Germany often participate in multiple programmes, I evaluate the sequential participation of unemployment benefit II (UB-II)-recipients in ALMPs in Germany. My study uses comprehensive, administrative data to control for dynamic selection that arises in the evaluation of sequences. Using a dynamic matching approach and an inflow sample of UB-II-recipients, I analyse the effects of sequences of One-Euro-Jobs and/or UB II-receipt on labour market outcomes.
IAB-Discussion Paper 16/2013
Wage posting or wage bargaining?
20 September 2013
Using a representative establishment dataset, this paper is the first to analyze the incidence of wage posting and wage bargaining in the matching process from the employer’s side. We show that both modes of wage determination coexist in the German labor market, with about two-thirds of hirings being characterized by wage posting. Wage posting dominates in the public sector, in larger firms, in firms covered by collective agreements, and in part-time and fixed-term contracts. Jobseekers who are unemployed, out of the labor force or just finished their apprenticeship are also less likely to get a chance of negotiating. Wage bargaining
is more likely for more-educated applicants and in jobs with special requirements as well as in tight regional labor markets.
IAB-Discussion Paper 15/2013
Labour market forecasting: Is disaggregation useful?
18 September 2013
Using the example of short-term forecasts for German employment figures, the article at hand examines the question whether the use of disaggregated information increases the forecast accuracy of the aggregate. For this purpose, the out-ofsample forecasts for the aggregated employment forecast are compared to and contrasted with forecasts based on a vector-autoregressive model, which includes not only the aggregate but also the numbers of gainfully employed people at the industry level. The Clark/West test is used in the model comparison. It becomes evident that disaggregation significantly improves the employment forecast. Moreover, fluctuation-window tests help identify the phases during which disaggregation increases forecast accuracy to the strongest extent.
IAB-Discussion Paper 14/2013
Migration, unemployment, and skill downgrading
13 September 2013
This paper analyzes the impact of the skill composition of migration flows on the host country’s labor market in a specific factors two-sector model with heterogeneous labor (low-, medium-, and highly-skilled) and price- and wage-setting behavior. The low- and medium-skilled labor markets are characterized by frictions due to wage bargaining. Moreover, we assume skill downgrading of unemployed medium-skilled workers into low-skilled labor supply. Endogenous benefits create an interdependency between the two bargaining processes.
IAB-Discussion Paper 13/2013
Unemployment benefit II, unemployment and health
13 September 2013
A multitude of studies has established a negative relationship between unemployment and health. With the "Hartz-reforms", unemployment benefit II was introduced in 2005. Whether unemployment benefit II receipt has an impact, additional to unemployment, on health, is investigated. For this study data of the panel study "Labour market and social security" is used. The sample consists out of 14.282 respondents aged 18 to 65, who participated up to five years from 2006 to 2011. Measures of subjective health by social status were analyzed using Fixed Effect panel models.
IAB-Discussion Paper 12/2013
New insights into the development of regional unemployment disparities
26 August 2013
Large regional unemployment disparities are a common feature of the labor market in many countries. This study deals with the question whether regional unemployment disparities in western Germany widen, become narrower or remain constant over time. It examines the hypothesis of convergence for regional unemployment rates of western German Federal States and the time period 1968 to 2009 following different concepts of convergence.
IAB-Discussion Paper 11/2013
22 August 2013
This paper provides detailed empirical evidence on the scope of mismatch in Germany in the past decade, using a comprehensive administrative data set that allows for disaggregation at the levels of industry, occupation and region. The results provide no evidence that the Hartz reforms have substantially reduced mismatch, in line with the fact that reallocation across occupations appears not to have been eased.
IAB-Discussion Paper 10/2013
The evolution of regional labor market disparities
15 August 2013
This book deals with the question of whether regional disparities in labor market performance widen, become narrower or remain constant over time. It examines the hypothesis of convergence for the unemployment rates of the German Federal States and employment rates of western German regional planning units.
Capital mobility, imperfect labour markets, and the provision of public goods
15 August 2013
This paper examines equilibrium tax rates and provision levels of public goods in an international tax competition setting with imperfect labour markets.
IAB-Discussion Paper 9/2013
A sketch of youth unemployment in selected countries
08 August 2013
In this paper the authors of the International Labour Market Forecasting Network (a cooperation of several researchers related to PES) briefly describe the youth unemployment in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Norway and Sweden.
Current report: A sketch of youth unemployment in selected countries
A new panel dataset on international migration by gender and education
06 August 2013
Using Census and Population Registers data from 20 OECD destination countries, the IAB has released a new dataset featuring the number of immigrants by gender, educational level, country of origin and destination, for the years 1980-2010.
The data collection has been carried out within the framework of the European project TEMPO (TEmporary Migration, integration and the role of POlicies), with the aim of providing researchers with a new and up to date tool for the study of the causes and consequences of international migration, and of the out-migration of the high-skill population (the so-called "Brain Drain").
IAB brain-drain data
Skilled labour requirements in firms
30 July 2013
Establishments in the manufacturing sector that export goods usually pay their employees considerably more than those that do not. IAB researchers have followed up the reasons for this in the current issue of the IAB-Forum, entitled "Vantage point. The establishment-level perspective of the labour market". The initially surprising findings show that the establishment-level perspective opens up important and sometimes unexpected insights into the labour market. To make this view of the labour market useful for research as well, the IAB Establishment Panel was launched in 1993. The results of the annual survey are of great advantage to in-house practice, political decision-making and also to the operative activities of the Federal Employment Agency – for instance when solutions are being sought on how to deal with shortages of skilled workers, aging workforces, the compatibility of family and career, framework conditions for employee participation, or the in-house use of integration subsidies.
The IAB-Forum is published only in German. Some of the selected articles of this edition have been translated into English.
Skilled labour requirements in firms: Shortages are emerging in some sectors and regions
Location choice: Why German firms invest in the Czech Republic
Policy for the labour market: What matters
10 July 2013
In a paper for the "Ökonomenstimme", Enzo Weber discusses strategies for future labour market policy. The topics are among others minijobs, temporary agency work and the minimum wage.
Policy for the labour market: What matters
The re-entry of mothers in Germany into employment after family-related interruptions
09 July 2013
It is still difficult for mothers in Germany to reconcile family life with employment. This becomes particularly apparent when mothers attempt to re-enter the labour market. Partly this varies very strongly according to level of education; partly legal regulations on parental leave play a decisive role. In addition, women in the Western part of Germany interrupt their employment for a longer time than women from the Eastern part of Germany - even twenty years after reunification. In the meantime, this appears to be more a result of different institutional regulations rather than differing socialisation. Finally, the re-entry of mothers into the labour market after interrupting their employment to have and look after children also seems to depend on the characteristics of the jobs offered. Here it becomes apparent that, along with pay, non-monetary characteristics also play an important role - especially those affecting one's personal time budget.
The ReLOC project
27 June 2013
Economic integration typically goes along with a disintegration of production through outsourcing and offshoring. The consequences of foreign direct investments (FDI) especially for the labour market are an issue of ongoing debate. The countries of origin fear job losses. However, a range of models and studies show that the productivity gains lead to job growth at the domestic plants.
The method report presents the questions which arose through a cross-border company survey and the solutions found. The process of the implementation is described, focussing on the creation of the database as well as on the questionnaire development.
"Gertrude M. Cox Award" for Frauke Kreuter
26 June 2013
The Washington Statistical Society (WSS) and Research Triangle Park (RTI) International have honored Frauke Kreuter, Ph.D., as this year’s recipient of the 2013 Gertrude M. Cox Award for her contributions in the area of survey methodology.
Trade and qualifikation
06 June 2013
Foreign markets determine success and failure of those industries that have become reliant on foreign demand, impair the demand for employment and invoke changes in occupational fields and qualification requirements. This paper aims to disclose the direct and indirect influence of major trading partners on Germany's production, employment, and qualification needs. It projects the effects by using the dynamic macro-econometric input-output model INFORGE. Industrialised economies are the most important determinants for employment in the manufacturing industries. Business-related services are highly indirectly affected. The growth impact of industrialised nations is declining while BRICS nations are gaining momentum. A shift towards higher qualification needs can be observed.
IAB-Discussion Paper 7/2013
The scars of youth
27 May 2013
Does early-career unemployment cause future unemployment? The autors answer this question with German administrative matched employer-employee data that track more than 800,000 individuals over 24 years. Using a censored quantile instrumental variable estimator and instrumenting early-career unemployment with local labor market conditions at labor market entry and firm-specific labor demand shocks, they find significant and longlasting scarring effects. At the median, an additional day of unemployment during the first eight years on the labor market increases unemployment in the following 16 years by 0.96 days. Effects are even stronger in the right tail of the unemployment distribution. Likely due to unobserved heterogeneity in returns to search, they are also understated by non-IV estimates.
IAB-Discussion Paper 6/2013
Subsidies for substitutes?
22 May 2013
This paper estimates substitution effects of the German active labour market programme "JobPerspektive", a wage subsidy for hard-to-place welfare recipients. Results provide little evidence for widespread substitution of regular workers due to receiving this particular subsidy; in fact, regular employment is somewhat increased in West Germany as a result of subsidization.
IAB-Discussion Paper 5/2013
Does it matter where you work?
15 May 2013
Using rich German linked employer-employee data and endogenous switching regression models, this paper shows that large firms and firms with a high export share or a low proportion of fixed-term workers provide higher wage growth for low-wage workers. While having many low-paid co-workers dampens the wage growth of both low-wage workers and higher-wage workers, there are also employers who provide higher wage growth only for higher-wage workers.
IAB-Discussion Paper 4/2013
Effects of participating in skill training and workfare on employment entries for lone mothers receiving means-tested benefits in Germany
18 April 2013
This paper investigates employment effects of further vocational training, short classroom training, as well as One-Euro-Jobs for lone mothers receiving Unemployment Benefit II (UB II) in Germany. Lone mothers receiving UB II participate in these active labor market programs at very high rates. As soon as their youngest child is aged three or above, their program entry rates are as high as for childless singles. This paper examines whether lone mothers can actually profit from partici-pating in these programs, given low levels of childcare provision.
IAB-Discussion Paper 3/2013
Motivated underreporting in screening interviews
08 April 2013
Most surveys begin with questions designed to determine whether the sample household includes any members of the survey's target population. However, the screening questions can miss eligible household members. The underreporting of eligible household members may reflect interviewer motivation, respondent motivation, or some combination of the two. The authors did an experiment to test several hypotheses about this phenomenon, which they call motivated underreporting.
Evaluating the labor-market effects of compulsory military service
08 April 2013
The authors identify the causal effect of compulsory military service on conscripts' subsequent labor-market outcomes by exploiting the regression-discontinuity design of the military draft in Germany during the 1950s.
(When) Is job-finding via personal contacts a meaningful concept for social network analysis?
03 April 2013
Chua (2011) argues that in a meritocratic context, institutions restrict the usefulness of social networks in exerting influence on job seekers' earnings. Regressing job-finding via personal contacts on earnings, he finds negative effects of influence via personal contacts, especially for the well-educated and individuals working in the state sector.
Feature: Flexible forms of employment
03 April 2013
In recent decades, economic policy makers across Europe have sought to increase labour market flexibility by promoting the use of temporary employment. The articles in this Feature provide new results on how fixed-term and agency work contracts affect firm productivity and how the segments of two-tier labour markets interact.
Patterns of unemployment dynamics in Germany
02 April 2013
This paper studies the patterns of unemployment dynamics in Germany. To provide a deeper insight into the margins of unemployment adjustment, we employ a structural VAR model and identify the effects of a technology shock as well as two policy shocks. The authors find that the worker reallocation process varies substantially with the identified shocks.
IAB-Discussion Paper 2/2013
Does downward nominal wage rigidity dampen wage increases?
25 March 2013
Focusing on the compression of wage cuts, many empirical studies find a high degree of downward nominal wage rigidity (DNWR). The authors analyze whether a compression of wage increases occurs when DNWR is binding by applying Unconditional Quantile Regression and Seemingly Unrelated Regression to a dataset comprising more than 169 million wage changes.
The effects of extended unemployment insurance over the business cycle
25 March 2013
One goal of extending the duration of unemployment insurance (UI) in recessions is to increase UI coverage in the face of longer unemployment spells. Although it is a common concern that such extensions may themselves raise nonemployment durations, it is not known how recessions would affect the magnitude of this moral hazard. To obtain causal estimates of the differential effects of UI in booms and recessions, this article exploits the fact that in Germany, potential UI benefit duration is a function of exact age which is itself invariant over the business cycle.
Journal for Labour Market Research 1/2013 ( Volume 46)
25 March 2013
A new look at the discouragement and the added worker hypotheses
13 February 2013
Using German data this study applies an unobserved-components approach to disentangle the unemployment rate into a (stochastic) trend and a cyclical part and to estimate the influence of these components on labor participation. The persistent trend component of unemployment, which triggers permanent reactions of the workers, is likely connected to a structural discouragement effect. The cyclical component, which reflects more fluctuant changes, can be linked to a shorter-term added worker effect. By splitting up the participation effect of changes in the unemployment rate our analysis differs profoundly from previous studies that present the net of both or only a single effect. For the total working population both a discouragement and an added worker effect were identified. In detailed analyses we find that the former was relevant for older workers, whereas the latter especially concerns prime aged and younger females. As many OECD countries are facing an ageing population as well as rising importance of women in the labor market, these age- and gender-specific results might be of particular interest.
IAB-Discussion Paper 1/2013
Comparing European Metropolitan Regions in Germany: Wages diverge conspicuously
17 December 2012
The wage level as an indicator of a region‘s economic strength shows strong distinctions between the eleven German Metropolitan Regions, along with a clear west-east gradient. Employees in the Metropolitan Regions Stuttgart, Munich and Frankfurt/Rhine-Main earn the highest incomes, according to a study in the current IAB-Forum by Anja Burghardt, Daniela Hochfellner and Marion König. The IAB-Forum is published only in German. Selected articles of this edition have been translated into English.
Comparing European Metropolitan Regions in Germany: Wages diverge conspicuously
More competition for bright minds
17 December 2012
Qualified professionals are the fuel of a knowledge-intensive economy, the fuel that gives Germany the necessary thrust in international competition. But more than a few people are worried that qualified professionals could soon become scarce. That is why the current issue of the IAB-Forum has chosen to examine this much discussed topic of "ensuring the availability of qualified professionals" (Fachkräftesicherung) from various different angles. The IAB-Forum is published only in German. Some of the selected articles of this edition have been translated into English.
The dynamics of the requirement for qualified professionals. In the long run, the forces of the market will counteract labour shortages (Stephan Brunow, Ulrich Möller, Jens Stegmaier)
More competition for bright minds. How to pilot qualified professionals into companies (Ulrich Walwei)
Examples from within companies. How employers look for and retain skilled workers (Oliver Ludewig, Ekaterina Kouli)
Decomposing Beveridge curve dynamics by correlated unobserved components
10 December 2012
Between 1979 and 2009, the German labour market moved along a Beveridge curve with changing slope that usually shifted outwards but once inwards. We em-ploy an unobserved components model to simultaneously disentangle permanent and transitory components of matching efficiency and separation rate (shifting pa-rameters) as well as unemployment and vacancies. Cointegration and identification are especially addressed. We find a steady overlay of structural and transitory shocks for both shifts of and movements along the curve. Thereby, the separation rate is more important than matching efficiency and the two are negatively corre-lated. Labour market tightness is mostly driven by stochastic trends, which leads to permanent rotations of the job creation curve, i. e. movements along the Beveridge curve.
IAB-Discussion Paper 28/2012
Job matching across occupational labour markets
03 December 2012
This paper refers to an analysis of matching processes in occupational labour markets in terms of classes of jobs that share extensive commonalities in their required qualifications and tasks. To date, all studies in this field have been based on the assumption of separate occupational labour markets. This assumption suggests that job search and matching processes only transpire within distinct occupational labour markets and that no occupational changes occur. I present theoretical and empirical arguments that undermine the validity of this assumption. Moreover, I construct an "occupational" topology based on information about the ways in which occupational groups may be seen as alternatives in searches for jobs or workers respectively. I then use pooled ordinary least squares, fixed effects, and pooled mean-group models that consider cross-sectional dependency lags for regressors to test the hypothesis that job search and matching occur across occupational labour markets. In particular, I find significant and positive matching elasticities with respect to the averaged numbers of unemployed workers and vacancies in similar occupational groups; these results clearly support my hypothesis. Furthermore, there are indications that returns to scale that are derived from the results of the pooled mean-group model are constant. The findings of this study strongly suggest the use of an augmented matching function that considers job and worker searches across occupational labour markets.
IAB-Discussion Paper 27/2012
2012 Gerhard Fürst Prize for Dr Stephanie Eckman
27 November 2012
The Award Presentation for outstanding scientific work took place during the 21st Scientific Colloquium on the subject of "Statistics in the Light of the European Bank and Debt Crisis" that was hosted jointly by the Federal Statistical Office and the German Statistical Society on 22 and 23 November 2012 in Wiesbaden.
Dr Stephanie Eckman received the 2012 Advancement Award in the category "Dissertations" for her work on the topic of "Errors in Housing Unit Frames and Their Effects on Survey Estimates". The dissertation was written under the supervision of Professor Frauke Kreuter of the University of Maryland.
Prize winners 2012
Workplace heterogeneity and the rise of West German wage inequality
15 November 2012
The authors study the role of establishment-specific wage premiums in generating recent increases in West German wage inequality. Models with additive fixed effects for workers and establishments are fit in four distinct time intervals spanning the period 1985-2009.
IAB-Discussion Paper 26/2012
The formation of experts' expectations on labour markets
29 October 2012
Expectations regarding the economic development might be correlated due to various reasons: because individuals use the same public information and similar evaluation methods, and because of social learning or herding amongst peers. We analyse to what extent expectations are driven by herd behaviour, and if it contributes to make expectations more realistic. In a novel survey the CEOs of the local departments of the German Federal Employment Agency report their expectations on unemployment in the short run. In this data we can discriminate between close and less-close peers to overcome the reflection problem and to quantitatively assess answers regarding the initial questions. We find strong evidence for herding in expectation formation. The size of effect is robust across various specifications and remains even when controlling for forecasts from experts external to the survey. The social multiplier approximately doubles the effect of information (signals) included in the model. Compared to counterfactual expectations without herding constructed from the estimates, herding seems to improve the accuracy of the expectations.
IAB-Discussion Paper 25/2012
Skill-biased labor market reforms and international competitiveness
10 October 2012
This paper proposes a multi-industry trade model with integrated capital and goods markets. Labor market imperfections in line with Mortensen and Pissarides (1994) give rise to unemployment and a channel for the government to influence markets through institutional changes. Labor market interventions feedback into the product market through changes in a country's competitiveness. Moreover, the distinction between high- and low-skill workers facilitates the analysis of skill-biased institutional changes that have stronger impact on certain skill groups. The comparative static exercise in this paper shows that high-skilled benefit from low-skill biased labor market reforms through higher wages. Lower labor costs reduce unemployment of the low-skilled and increases the reforming country's competitiveness. One-sided labor market interventions have feedback effects through adjustments at the extensive margin, which affect all workers at home and abroad irrespective of their level of skill. Governments in the non-reforming countries may react to this loss in competitiveness by initiating cooperative labor market reforms instead.
IAB-Discussion Paper 24/2012
Human capital mobility and convergence
24 September 2012
Since the fall of the iron curtain in 1989, the migration deficit of the Eastern part of Germany has accumulated to 1.8 million people, which is over 10 percent of its initial population. Depending on their human capital endowment, these migrants might either - in the case of low-skilled migration - accelerate or - in high-skilled case - impede convergence. Due to the availability of detailed data on regional human capital, migration and productivity growth, we are able to test how geographic mobility affects convergence via the human capital selectivity of migration. With regard to the endogeneity of the migration flows and human capital, we apply a dynamic panel data model within the framework of ß-convergence and account for spatial dependence. The regressions indicate a positive, robust, but modest effect of a migration surplus on regional productivity growth. After controlling for human capital, the effect of migration decreases; this decrease indicates that skill selectivity is one way that migration impacts growth.
IAB-Discussion Paper 23/2012
Do reservation wages react to regional unemployment?
21 September 2012
Reservation wages indicate the wage threshold for which individual workers are inclined to supply their working capacity. In important theoretical approaches it is assumed that this threshold depends on the unemployment rate. If this is true, the variation of reservation wages might be an important force behind the regional 'wage curve', which has been estimated in many empirical studies. Up to now, the connection of regional unemployment with reservation wages has not been tested, since research possibilities depend on survey data which were not available. With the 'Labour Market and Social Security' study (PASS), a new large panel survey in Germany, information on regional reservation wages is available. The empirical analysis with this data opens up the 'black box' of the wage generation process and delivers insights about its determining factors. The analysis is based on job matching and efficiency wage theory which are used to derive a relationship between unemployment and reservation wages.
IAB-Discussion Paper 22/2012
Do literacy and numeracy pay off?
20 September 2012
Is there a reward for basic skills in the German labor market? To answer this question, we examine the relationship between literacy, numeracy and monthly gross earnings of full-time employed workers. We use data from the ALWA survey, augmented by test scores on basic cognitive skills as well as administrative earnings data. Our results indicate that earnings are positively related to both types of skills. There furthermore is no evidence for non-linearity in this relationship and only little heterogeneity when differentiating by sub-groups.
IAB-Discussion Paper 21/2012
Profiles of local growth and industrial change
17 September 2012
In this paper we take a detailed look at the sectoral anatomy of regional growth in German regions over the period 1978-2008. In the aggregate, the German economy is characterized by a secular decline of the manufacturing sector and a rise of the modern service economy. This trend of structural change (Petty's law) by no means occurs uniformly across space, however. Some regions exhibit this trend even at an accelerated pace, while other regions develop their local economic structures against the trend and expand their manufacturing bases. We first develop a novel empirical approach that allows us to categorize all German regions into one out of three groups with 'pro-trend', 'anti-trend' or 'featureless' regional growth. Afterwards we show that the differential exposure to international trade is an important cause of the divergent patterns of local industrial change.
IAB-Discussion Paper 20/2012
Employers' selection behavior during short-time work
17 August 2012
During the recession of 2008-09 Germany experienced a huge decrease in GDP. Employment, however, remained surprisingly stable. The so-called German labor market miracle is often ascribed to the intensive usage of short-time work. Despite the resurgence of this instrument, little is known about the employees affected by it. This paper analyzes whether employers select certain individuals for short-time work, where special focus is given on the effect of human capital.
IAB-Discussion Paper 18/2012
3rd TEMPO Conference on international Migration
31 July 2012
We are seeking contributions on the broad theme of international migration.
Call for Papers
Mothers and Daughters: Heterogeneity of German direct investments in the Czech Republic
27 July 2012
The aim of the paper is to assess the heterogeneity of German affiliates in the Czech Republic and their mother companies in Germany. Applying cluster analysis to firm-level data from the unique IAB-ReLOC survey, we identify four main groups of firms that partition the sample by broad sectoral lines and technological intensity of their operation. More specifically, the principal clusters can be interpreted as: I) High-tech industrial firms; II) Low-tech industrial firms; III) High-tech service providers; and IV) Low-tech service providers. The classification is examined more closely by location, ownership and industry of the firms and in the framework of a probit model. The main result is that there is a significant technological gap between the mothers and their cross-border daughters in industry that cannot be found in the service sector. From this follow implications for technological upgrading on both sides of the border, which are discussed in the concluding section of the paper.
IAB-Discussion Paper 17/2012
The rise of the East and the Far East
10 July 2012
The authors analyze the effects of the unprecedented rise in trade between Germany and 'the East' - China and Eastern Europe - in the period 1988-2008 on German local labor markets. Using detailed administrative data, they exploit the cross-regional variation in initial industry structures and use trade flows of other high-income countries as instruments for regional import and export exposure. The authors find that the rise of 'the East' in the world economy caused substantial job losses in German regions specialized in import-competing industries, both in manufacturing and beyond.
IAB-Discussion Paper 16/2012
Assortative matching through signals
29 June 2012
The matching of likes is a frequently observed phenomenon. However, for such assortative matching to arise in a search model, often implausibly strong conditions are required. This paper shows that, once signals are introduced, a search model can generate even perfect assortative matching under weak conditions: supermodularity of the match production function is a necessary and sufficient condition. It simultaneously drives sorting and functions as a single-crossing property ensuring that agents choose truthful signals. The information thereby transmitted allows agents to avoid all unnecessary costs of random search, which creates in effect an almost frictionless environment. Hence the unique separating equilibrium in the model achieves nearly unconstrained efficiency despite frictions.
IAB-Discussion Paper 15/2012
Volume of employment once more at a record high
21 June 2012
The number of performed and paid working hours of persons in employment in Germany rose in the first quarter of 2012 to more than 15 billions.
See table: Average working time and its components in Germany
Asymmetric information and overeducation
18 June 2012
We consider an economy where production may use labor of two different skill levels. Workers are heterogeneous and, by investing in education, self-select into one of the two skills. Ex-ante, when firms choose their investments in physical capital, they do not know the level of human capital prevailing in the labor market they will be active in. We prove existence and constrained inefficiency of competitive equilibria, which are always characterized by overeducation. An increase in total expected surplus can be obtained by shrinking, at the margin, the set of workers investing in high skill. This can be implemented by imposing taxes on the cost of investing in high skill or by imposing a progressive labor earning tax.
IAB-Discussion Paper 14/2012
IAB annual report 2011
08 June 2012
Despite the Euro crisis, the German labour market showed itself to be extraordinarily robust in 2011. Employment reached record levels while unemployment fell even further. As gratifying as these developments were however, they definitely presented IAB's research departments with new challenges. The report contains detailed information on developments in substance, personnel and organisational matters, and provides an overview of key projects, publications, presentations, events and the advisory services that IAB has provided in this year to academic and professional circles.
IAB annual report 2011
Regional disparities in an extended EU
05 June 2012
Within the European Union, economic power, income and employment diverge extensively – both within and also between Member States. The reduction of this gradient is the declared political goal at the European and national levels. Although economic regional research has embraced this topic, hardly any reliable findings are available as to the extent of the effect that eastwards expansion and the economic integration of the EU have had on the development of regional disparities. Moreover, to what extent and why the development of employment at various different levels of qualification is different from region to region is still largely unexplained. Based on a wide collection of data and econometric analyses, Friso Schlitte's study "Regional Disparities and Growth in the European Union" makes an important contribution to closing these gaps in research. He demonstrates the following for example: The presence of a large number of highly qualified persons also raises the labour market chances of persons with low qualifications in the region. However, the stricter the separation of the scope of duties of differing qualification levels within an enterprise, the less favourable the development of the opportunities for persons with low qualifications.
The author Friso Schlitte is a Senior Researcher at the Hamburg Instute of International Economics (Hamburgisches WeltWirtschaftsInstitut, HWWI).
Examining the roots of homelessness: The impact of regional housing market conditions and the social environment on homelessness in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
09 May 2012
Despite large-scale governmental efforts to combat homelessness, homelessness rates can only be reduced but not eliminated completely by the measures usually applied. Hence, there is an obvious need to investigate additional factors which contribute to homelessness and gain insights on how to further reduce homelessness.
IAB-Discussion Paper 13/2012
Income: Do sons have similar ones to their fathers?
08 May 2012
From dishwasher to millionaire – hardly anyone manages that, either in the United States or Germany. And it is even more difficult for people whose parents already had low earnings. Social advancement from the parental generation to that of the child seldom takes place. That is one of the central research results presented by the book "Inter- and intragenerational economic mobility". The author, Daniel D Schnitzlein, examines the causes of economic mobility, comparing Germany to the United States and Denmark. He also analyses the economic mobility of siblings as well as the influence of cultural backgrounds. However Dr Schnitzlein does not only take a comparative look beyond Germany's borders: his research also revolves around the development of wage mobility in the eastern and western parts of Germany itself, concentrating on mobility within a generation.
The author Daniel D Schnitzlein completed his doctorate at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and is currently a researcher on the SOEP longitudinal study (socioeconomic panel) at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin.
Worker flows in Germany: Inspecting the time aggregation bias
03 May 2012
This paper analyzes the importance of time aggregation in the measurement of worker flows by exploiting daily information from German administrative data. Time aggregation caused by comparing monthly labor market states leads to an underestimation of total worker flows by around 10%.
IAB-Discussion Paper 12/2012
The labour markets in Finland, Germany, Latvia, Norway, and Sweden 2006-2010
16 April 2012
Via the International Labour Market Forecasting Network, forecasters of the public employment services or comparable institutes from the Nordic countries as well as Germany and Austria exchange their analyses about the current and future development of the national economies and labour markets. This report documents some of the discussions during the past few years. Finland, Germany, Latvia, Norway, and Sweden exemplify their starting conditions and labour market reactions to the Great recession in 2008 and 2009.
Effectiveness of further vocational training in Germany
10 April 2012
Further vocational training for the unemployed aims at enhancing their job prospects. This paper analyses the effectiveness of such subsidized training programmes for means-tested unemployment benefit recipients in Germany.
IAB-Discussion Paper 10/2012
Between familial imprinting and institutional regulation
29 March 2012
In this paper, I examine how family related employment interruptions for women in the FRG (Federal Republic of Germany) and the GDR (German Democratic Republic) looked like in the period prior to German reunification. Furthermore, I investigate how career interruptions developed after the German reunification in the old and new states and whether a convergence of re-entry behaviour can be observed. Following research questions are addressed: Which factors are more important: attitudes towards the employment of mothers, which were transferred through socialisation in childhood and adolescence, or institutional arrangements shaped by parental leave regulations? Based on data from the IAB ALWA study ('Working and Learning in a Changing World'), the results show that even twenty years after the German reunification, significant differences between women in East and West Germany are found to exist with respect to family related employment interruptions.
IAB-Discussion Paper 9/2012
Journal for Labour Market Research
28 March 2012
From this edition onwards, the Journal will operate under the main title "Journal for Labour Market Research" while "Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung" will remain as the subtitle; in addition the layout has been slightly altered. With this, we wish to send the signal to the international scientific community that the Journal is intended to play a more important role on the international stage than previously but without disowning its German roots.
Volume 45 - Number 1 - March 2012
International trade, technical change and wage inequality in the U.K. economy
21 March 2012
This paper examines the joint impact of international trade and technical change on U.K. wages across different skill groups. Results show that real wages of skill groups are driven by the sector bias of price change and TFP growth of selected sectors of production. Furthermore, for each year 1970-2005 we estimate the share of the three different skill groups on added value which indicate structural change in the U.K. economy. Empirical results show a structural change in the U.K. economy by the declined share of low-skilled workers and the increased share of medium-skilled and high-skilled workers over the years.
IAB-Discussion Paper 8/2012
International trade and collective bargaining outcomes
21 March 2012
In theoretical trade models with variable markups and collective wage bargaining, export exposure may reduce the exporter wage premium. We test this prediction using linked German employer-employee data from 1996 to 2007. To separate the rent-sharing mechanism from assortative matching, we exploit individual worker information to construct profitability measures that are free of skill composition. We find that rent-sharing is less pronounced in more export intensive firms or in more open industries. The exporter wage premium is highest for low productivity firms. In line with theory, these findings are unique to the subsample of plants covered by collective bargaining.
IAB-Discussion Paper 7/2012
Are real entry wages rigid over the business cycle?
16 March 2012
So far little empirical evidence exists on how real wages of newly hired workers react to business cycle conditions. This paper aims at filling this gap for Germany by analyzing the cyclical behavior of real wages of newly hired workers while controlling for 'cyclical upgrading' and 'cyclical downgrading' in employee/employer matches over the cycle.
IAB-Discussion Paper 6/2012
Wage bargaining in Germany
08 March 2012
The analysis relies on rich German establishment data and reveals new insights in the institutional machinery of wage bargaining: While the existence of such clauses is related to higher wages (11 %), their application results in wages cuts of roughly the same size. Regarding works councils the results suggest that they are able to prevent negative wage effects of opening clauses on average.
IAB-Discussion Paper 5/2012
Foreign direct Investment and search unemployment
01 March 2012
This paper proposes a simple multi-industry trade model with search frictions in the labor market. Unimpeded access to global financial markets enables capital owners to invest abroad, thereby fostering unemployment at the extensive industry margin. Whether a country benefits from FDI in terms of unemployment depends on the respective country's net-FDI, measured as the difference between in- and outward FDI. The derived FDI and unemployment nexus is tested employing macroeconomic data for 19 OECD countries on unemployment, FDI, and labor market institutions. Results support the model in that net-FDI is robustly associated with lower rates of aggregate unemployment.
IAB-Discussion Paper 4/2012
The time trend in the matching function
29 February 2012
We revisit the puzzling finding that labour market performance appears to deteriorate, as suggested by negative time trends in empirical matching functions. We investigate whether these trends simply arise from omitted variable bias. Concretely, we consider the omission of job seekers beyond the unemployed, the omission of inflows as opposed to stocks, and the failure to account for vacancy dynamics. We first build a model of all labour market flows and use it to construct series for these flows from aggregate data on the U.S. labour market. Using these series, we obtain a measure for employed and non-participating job seekers. When we thus include all job seekers, the estimated time trend remains unchanged. We similarly obtain measures for inflows into unemployment and vacancies.
IAB-Discussion Paper 3/2012
Dynamics on the European labour markets: Are insecure contracts the price of more employment?
13 February 2012
In many EU countries labour market policy moved in the 1990s towards a stronger employment orientation. We address the question of whether European labour markets have become more inclusive after a period of intense labour market reforms and just before the adverse effects of the economic crisis took effect. We do this for the following countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Spain. Based on ELFS data we estimate the probability of someone who was either unemployed or inactive, making the transition a) to any form of employment and b) that the transition has been made to permanent compared to a temporary or marginal part-time contract. Our results show that the chances to make a transition into employment have increased on average across all countries although there are considerable country variations. In most - but not all - countries, however, increasingly inclusive labour markets are associated with a reduction in job quality, as measured by contract type.
IAB-Brief Report 25/2011
Wage growth and career patterns of German low-wage workers
18 January 2012
Using administrative linked employer-employee data from Germany, this paper analyses the real wage growth and career patterns of full-time employed low-wage workers between 2001 and 2006.
IAB-Discussion Paper 1/2012
Regional unemployment disparities in Germany
10 January 2012
Disparities in the regional unemployment rates in Germany are more distinct, the smaller the regional level of observation. Furthermore, the adjustment of smaller spatial units to labour market shocks is found to work predominantly through labour mobility and less through the unemployment and the participation rate. The speed of adjustment in the unemployment rate does instead not vary substantially between Federal States and districts. The distribution of regional unemployment rates thereby displays strong persistence and does not show convergence towards the national unemployment rate, but convergence towards the region-specific means. Labour market adjustment mechanisms work efficient as labour demand shocks disappear within only a few years. The estimates additionally show that substantial migration and commuting activities are responsible for this efficiency.
The immigrant wage gap in Germany
04 January 2012
Using employment register data, the study compares the outcomes of male foreign workers from different East and West European countries who entered the German labor market between 1995 and 2000 with those of male German workers.
Unemployment and occupational mobility at the beginning of employment career in Germany and the UK
12 December 2011
The beginning of one's employment career is often associated with phases of unemployment. The author argues that unemployment has different implications for different educational groups as regards future employment careers depending on institutional settings in the UK and Germany. While search and matching models imply that an unemployment phase might be used for an active job search and might therefore result in a better position, human capital and signalling theory predict status losses.
IAB-Discussion Paper 25/2011
Job search via social networks
17 November 2011
Using a search theoretical model, the authors analyse the effects of the information flow via social networks (friends, relatives and other personal contacts) by comparing monetary and non-monetary outcomes in obtaining jobs via networks versus formal methods.
IAB-Discussion Paper 23/2011
The gender gap of returns on education across West European countries
13 October 2011
We study the returns on education in Europe in a comparative perspective. We extend the model of de la Fuente [(2003). Human Capital in a Global and Knowledgebased Economy. part II: Assessment at the EU Country Level. Report for the European Commission], by estimating the values of the relevant parameters for men and women and introducing several variables specifically related to maternity leaves and benefits. As a preliminary step, we evaluate the effect of education on the wage profile. We estimate the Mincerian coefficients for 12 West European countries using the EU-SILC data for 2007 and use them as input in the optimisation problem of the individual to calibrate the model. Finally, we analyse the impact and relevance of several public policy variables. In particular, we evaluate the elasticities of the returns on education with respect to unemployment benefits, marginal and average tax rates, maternity leaves and childcare benefits.
IAB-Discussion Paper 20/2011
Trade liberalisation, technical change and skill-specific unemployment
04 October 2011
The aim of this paper is to formalise a two-country model of trade liberalisation and technical change with heterogenous firms and search-and-matching frictions in the labour market. By considering different sectors and factors of production we allow for comparative advantages and study the trade and technology effects within and between sectors on wages and employment of skilled and low-skilled workers. Technical change together with inter-sectoral trade has distributional consequences across the labour force, favouring the skilled against the low-skilled workers. Intra-sectoral trade counteracts as it increases the demand for low-skilled workers, too. The overall effects on wages and employment of skilled and low-skilled workers depend on the extent of technical change, inter-sectoral trade and intra-sectoral trade.
IAB-Discussion Paper 19/2011
Do small labor market entry cohorts reduce unemployment?
13 September 2011
In this paper we study the effect of small labor market entry cohorts on (un)employment in Western Germany. From a theoretical point of view, decreasing cohort sizes may on the one hand reduce unemployment due to “inverse cohort crowding” or on the other hand increase unemployment if companies reduce jobs disproportionately. Consequently, the actual effect of cohort shrinking on (un)employment is an empirical question. We analyze the relationship between (un)employment and cohort sizes using a long panel of Western German labor market regions.
IAB-Discussion Paper 18/2011
The outcome of coaching and training for self-employment
01 August 2011
This paper focuses on the question of whether improving the competence of new business founders by means of coaching and training programs enhances the dura-tion of self-employment. In the analysis the autors focus on support activities that are pro-vided in addition to a financial subsidy and which mainly focus on providing external expertise for founders who started a business from a position of unemployment. They find that the inflow into the related schemes is strongly determined by regional pat-terns and time while individual characteristics are less important. This reflects a par-ticular regional specialization in the set-up of the promotion of self-employment. A statistical matching approach is used to control for selectivity and is performed in a way that explicitly takes into account differences across regions and over time. The results show that treatment effects tend to be insignificant in statistical and economic terms. They also find evidence that external expertise reduces the duration of self-employment.
IAB-Discussion Paper 16/2011
Lone mothers' participation in labor market programs for means-tested benefit recipients in Germany
30 June 2011
This paper examines participation in labor market programs such as job subsidies, workfare, and training programs by lone mothers receiving means-tested unemployment benefits in Germany. Since the 2005 Hartz IV labor market policy reforms, expectations that non-employed parents responsible for caring for young children should be ready for employment or labor market program participation have grown stronger.
IAB-Discussion Paper 14/2011
Do Changing Institutional Settings Matter?
28 June 2011
Cross-sectional studies show that in West Germany women with different levels of educational attainment participate differently in the labor market. In this paper, I examine one potential underlying mechanism: the re-entry of mothers in the labor market after a period of inactivity. I argue that besides societal changes the reforms of parental leave legislation could be responsible for the educational divide in mothers' employment.
IAB-Discussion Paper 13/2011
Low-wage jobs - stepping stones or just bad signals?
24 May 2011
This study investigates how the effects of low-wage employment and non-employment on wage prospects vary depending on qualification. The author apply dynamic multinomial logit models with random effects and include interactions of the lagged labor market state with qualification to estimate heterogeneity in state dependence.
IAB-Discussion Paper 11/2011
Labor market integration of foreigners
11 May 2011
Contrary to the widespread procedure of seeing migrants as deficient actors and of putting their integration difficulties into the forefront, the perspective in this book has been readjusted and concentrates on the potential that immigration offers. Migration – and the cultural diversity induced by it – means that people with new ideas, experiences and strategies for solving problems are coming to Germany. If one knows how to harness this potential within economic processes then immigration can stimulate economic growth and thus send out positive impulses to the labour market.
The volume 327 from the series IAB-Bibliothek is available in bookstores or direktly in our IAB webshop.
Abstract and further information can be found on our website.
Start-ups by migrants: A path towards economic and social integration
21 April 2011
In comparison to other countries, there are not many start-ups in Germany. This is shown by the "Global Entrepreneurship Monitor" (GEM) of 2010 which thus also confirms earlier results. What is remarkable is that migrants tend to set up their own businesses more often than local people. In doing so, they have specific advantages. For example it is tendentially easier for them to export their products and services. In addition there are signs that they have more role models than local start-up entrepreneurs. However there is also indication that start-ups by migrants are often a reaction to their comparatively poor chances on the labour market.
IAB Brief Report 8/2011
Executive summery of the GEM Country Report Germany 2010
A new targeting - a new take-up?
14 April 2011
The authors present first estimates of rates of non-take-up for social assistance in Germany after the implementation of major social policy reforms in 2005. The analysis is based on a microsimulation model, which includes a detailed description of the German social assistance programme. Their findings suggest a moderate decrease in non-take-up compared to estimates before the reform. In order to identify the determinants of claiming social assistance, the authors estimate a model of take-up behaviour which considers potential endogeneity of the benefit level. The estimations reveal that the degree of needs, measured as the social assistance benefit level a household is eligible for, and the expected duration of eligibility are the key determinants of the take-up decision, while costs of claiming seem to play a minor role.
IAB-Discussion Paper 10/2011
New issue of the Journal for Labour Market Research
07 April 2011
The current issue of the journal (Vol. 43, No. 4) contains among others the following articles:
- Heterogeneity in the cyclical sensitivity of job-to-job flows (by Sandra Schaffner)
- Testing the neoclassical migration model: overall and age-group specific results for German regions (by Timo Mitze and Janina Reinkowski)
Abstracts and full-text downloads (potentially chargeable) are available under SpringerLink
Lifelong learning inequality?
16 March 2011
Despite ample evidence on intergenerational persistence of formal education as well as on the determinants of non-formal training, these issues have not yet been analysed jointly. Count data analyses show that a low-qualified family background is negatively related to both likelihood and frequency of on-the-job training. This result holds when controlling for education, ability and personality as well as job and firm characteristics.
IAB-Discussion Paper 9/2011
Investments in education and welfare in a two-sector, random matching economy
15 March 2011
The authors consider a random matching model where heterogeneous agents choose optimally to invest time and real resources in education. They also provide restrictions on the fundamentals sufficient to guarantee that equilibria are characterized by overeducation (or undereducation), present some results on their comparative statics properties, and discuss the nature of welfare improving policies.
IAB-Discussion Paper 8/2011
Income taxes, subsidies to education, and investments in human capital
15 March 2011
The authors study a two-sector economy with investments in human and physical capital and imperfect labor markets. They also analyze the welfare properties of equilibria and study the effects of several tax policies on the total expected surplus. In particular, consider the equilibrium associated with a flat labor income tax. Under suitable restrictions on the parameters, a revenue neutral progressive change in the marginal tax rates is welfare improving.
IAB-Discussion Paper 7/2011
Does higher education help immigrants find a job?
03 March 2011
The authors analyse the role that education signals play in the transition rates from unemployment to finding a job. They compare the results for Ethnic Germans with those for foreigners from the same origin countries and Native Germans. In the first case, the two have the same labourmarket access but different migration backgrounds. In the second case, the migration background is similar, but labourmarket access is not.
IAB-Discussion Paper 6/2011
4th Summer Conference in Regional Science
01 March 2011
The Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), the German speaking section of the European Regional Science Association, the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and the Institute of Transport & Economics at the Technische Universität Dresden are very pleased to announce their joint International Summer-Conference, which will take place in Dresden. This year’s special topic is “Regional Economic and Labor Market Policies: Concepts, Results, and Challenges”.
Further information and Call for Paper
The intergenerational transmission of educational attainment in East and West Germany
17 February 2011
Socialist societies often emphasized the abolition of traditional social classes. To achieve this objective, educational opportunities were at times 'actively managed' and allocated to children of less educated parents. What happened to these patterns after the demise of socialist rule in Eastern Europe? The authors study the development of educational mobility after the fall of the iron curtain in East Germany and compare the relevance of parental educational background for secondary schooling outcomes in East and West Germany. Based on data from the German Mikrozensus they find that educational mobility is lower in East than in West Germany and that it has been falling in East Germany after unification. While the educational advantage of girls declined over time, having many siblings presents a more substantial disadvantage in East than in West Germany.
IAB-Discussion Paper 4/2011
Persistence of regional unemployment
14 February 2011
In this paper, the authors present a new econometric approach to the study of regional unemployment persistence, in order to account for spatial heterogeneity and/or spatial autocorrelation in both the levels and the dynamics of unemployment. They propose an econometric procedure suggesting the use of spatial filtering techniques as a substitute for fixed effects in a panel estimation framework. The authors present several experiments in order to investigate the spatial pattern of the heterogeneous autoregressive parameters estimated for unemployment data for German NUTS-3 regions. They find widely heterogeneous but generally high persistence in regional unemployment rates.
IAB-Discussion Paper 3/2011
Flexible working times foster economic growth
26 January 2011
That the German economy was able to achieve high growth rates in 2010, so soon after the crisis, was largely due to flexible working times. Employees' average annual working time rose by 2.3 per cent, for instance through the ending of short-time work, the return to normal company working hours, the reduction of credit hours on working time accounts, and more overtime.
See table: Average hours worked and its components in Germany
25 January 2011
In times of crisis, employers tend to resort to dismissals instead of the medium of reduction in nominal wages. This may be due to the influence of the trade unions, the inflexibility of company wage systems, or possibly also norms of fairness. What effect do downwardly rigid wages have on the labour market? Do they lead – in conjunction with a lower inflation rate – to higher unemployment? This IAB info platform presents scientific literature on the topic of wage rigidity.
IAB info platform: Wage rigidity
Selective immigration policies, migrants' education and welfare at origin
24 January 2011
Destination countries are progressively shifting towards selective immigration policies. These can effectively increase migrants' average education even if one allows for endogenous schooling decisions and education policies at origin. Still, more selective immigration policies reduce social welfare at origin.
Using support vector machines for generating synthetic datasets
24 January 2011
Generating synthetic datasets is an innovative approach for data dissemination. Values at risk of disclosure or even the entire dataset are replaced with multiple draws from statistical models. The quality of the released data strongly depends on the ability of these models to capture important relationships found in the original data. Defining useful models for complex survey data can be difficult and cumbersome. One possible approach to reduce the modeling burden for data disseminating agencies is to rely on machine learning tools to reveal important relationships in the data. This paper contains an initial investigation to evaluate whether support vector machines could be utilized to develop synthetic datasets.
The German job vacancy survey
24 January 2011
The German job vacancy survey has been conducted since 1989 by the IAB. It was started as a yearly written survey in Western Germany and was extended to Eastern Germany in 1992. From the outset the object was to obtain information on the number and the structure of job vacancies (registered and not registered) and on staff searching processes. In each fourth quarter a multiple page questionnaire is sent out to a representative number of private firms and public administrations in all economic sectors (except Private households and Extra-territorial organizations and bodies). The statistical units are local units with at minimum one employee covered by the social insurance system. Since 2006 the written surveys in the fourth quarter have been supplemented by short telephone interviews in the first, second and third quarter to get short-term information on the development of the labour demand during a year.