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December 18, 2015

Germany needs to up its game if it wants to integrate a million refugees

Germany’s capacity to embrace a large number of refugees seems considerable. However, a closer look reveals that its economy is less prepared for this mammoth task than many others in the OECD. Despite this, it is possible to turn the refugee crisis into a success story.

Read the full post on the Hertie School Blog here.

March 31, 2014

Ruinous Competition
Time and again European policy-makers have faced a choice between deeper integration and expansion. Should the EU become more Europeanized or should new member states be taken on? Many of the European Union’s old member states had hoped that the eastward expansion of the EU would allow them to avoid further economic integration. But just the opposite has happened: integration and expansion have proceeded simultaneously.

Read the full post on the Hertie School Blog here.

August 12, 2013

How to Battle Segmentation: Labour Market Policy in the German Elections
The European Council published its recommendations on Germany’s national reform programme in May 2013. It urged the government to consider the following measures:
“Policy action to reduce the high tax wedge for low-wage earners and improve the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market has been limited so far. Germany should do more to reduce the high taxes and social security contributions that they levy on low wages. Further efforts are needed to improve transition from certain types of contracts, like mini-jobs, into more sustainable forms of contracts, thus avoiding labour market segmentation.”
The recommendations were part of the discussion of rebalancing current accounts and competitiveness within the Eurozone and adjusting labour market regulations in the context of the crisis of the Eurozone. In this article, I start by analyzing the evolution of labour market segmentation in Germany as a major policy challenge and then look at the positions of mainstream German political parties in their election manifestos on labour market policy and their response to the Council recommendations. More

Read the full post on the Hertie School Election Blog here.

July 10, 2013

Gender equality could easily replace family policy in Germany
Family policy in Germany is in freefall. Despite €200 billion spent towards family policy, the birth rate has continued to be very low for decades. A third of female academics at the age of 40 are still childless. Monetary gifts such as child benefits, tax credits, parental benefits and childcare supplements motivate only a few to risk taking steps towards having children. More

A German version of this article appeared in Handelsblatt on 11 July 2013 and on the Hertie School Election Blog.