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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Nine years of Hartz IV


"Nine years ago, Germany has implemented Hartz IV, the last one in a series of welfare state reforms, merging the former separate systems of long term unemployment benefit and basic income support into a new system. The article summarizes the main empirical findings from a growing field and draws a few conclusions. Mainly, after years of heavy debates and practical experiences in Germany and elsewhere, it has to be said the goal of substantially reducing poverty and saving public money has not really been achieved. Although the system is working well in terms of financial support and population coverage, there are problems in providing cultural and social participation, and even the money is not enough under certain family constellations. Moreover, the idea to solve every poverty problem by rigid work first policies does obviously conflict with the observable heterogeneity of poverty situations. Main results are the disappearance of the privileges of persons in long term unemployment, a shift from permanent unemployment to unsteady low wage employment and need for further subsidies for a major part of the poor, as well as a consolidation of the normative image of a 'normal working citizen', making it harder to get support for people who don't fit into that scheme." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

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Bibliografische Daten

Promberger, Markus (2015): Nine years of Hartz IV * a welfare reform under scrutiny. In: Cuadernos de Relaciones Laborales, Vol. 33, No. 1, S. 35-63.