Bernhard Boockmann

  • Current position:
    Scientific Director, Institute for Applied Economic Research (IAW), Tübingen, and Adjunct Professor, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Positions/functions as policy advisor:
    Commissioned research for German government departments, the European Commission, public bodies, chambers of commerce and business associations. Member of Working Group E.1 of the Demography Strategy of the German government
  • Research interest:
    Labor economics, labor market regulation, evaluation research, international political economy
  • Website:
  • Affiliations:
    Institute for Applied Economic Research at the University of Tübingen, and IZA, Germany
  • Past positions:
    Vice Head of Department, Department of Labour Economics, Human Resources, and Social Policy, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim (2002–2007); Research Fellow, from 2001 Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim (1998–2002)
  • Qualifications:
    Post-doctoral Habilitation, University of Mannheim, 2004
  • Personal statement about IZA World of Labor:
    Policy-making should be based on the best evidence available. Outlets such as IZA World of Labor direct policymakers to research results and help them to make better choices
  • Selected publications:
    • “Do hiring subsidies reduce unemployment among older workers? Evidence from natural experiments.” Journal of the European Economic Association 12 (2012) (with T. Zwick, A. Ammermüller, and M. Maier).
    • “Do human rights offenders oppose human rights resolutions in the United Nations?” Public Choice 146 (2011): 443–467 (with A. Dreher).
    • “Workers, firms or institutions: What determines job duration for male employees in Germany?” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 64 (2010): 853–871 (with S. Steffes).
    • “The effect of ILO minimum age conventions on child labor and school attendance.” World Development 38 (2010): 679–692.
    • “Fixed-term contracts as sorting mechanisms: Evidence from job durations in west Germany.” Labour Economics 15 (2008): 984–1005.
  • Articles

The effects of wage subsidies for older workers

Wage subsidies to encourage employers to hire older workers are often ineffective

September 2015

10.15185/izawol.189 189

by Bernhard Boockmann Boockmann, B

Population aging in many developed countries has motivated some governments to provide wage subsidies to employers for hiring or retaining older workers. The subsidies are intended to compensate for the gap between the pay and productivity of older workers, which may discourage their hiring. A number of empirical studies have investigated how wage subsidies influence employers’ hiring and employment decisions and whether the subsidies are likely to be efficient. To which groups subsidies should be targeted and how the wage subsidy programs interact with incentives for early retirement are open questions.