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Activating Labor Market and Social Policies in Germany: From Status Protection to Basic Income Support

GPS, Vol. 6 No. 1, (2010)

This paper provides an overview of the sequential shift towards activating labor market and social policy in Germany. It not only shows the changes in the instruments of active and passive labor market policies but also analyzes the implications of this change for the political economy and the legal structure of a “Bismarckian” welfare state. Our study points at the changes in Germany’s status- and occupation-oriented unemployment benefit regime that has been relinquished for a larger share of benefit recipients. Unemployment insurance benefit duration is shorter now and newly created basic income support for needy persons is not earnings-related anymore. Pressure on unemployed to take up jobs has increased considerably while more per-sons than before have access to labor market programs and individualized services.

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