- active labor market policies
- active labor market policy
- active labor market programs
- analysis of unemployment
- applied program evaluation
- applied social policy analysis
- back-to-work policies
- benefit take-up
- child care
- dynamics of benefit receipt
- gender disparities
- household behavior
- income distribution
- labor supply
- minimum wages
- OECD economies
- optimal taxation
- policy evaluation
- tax-benefit policy
- work incentives
Herwig Immervoll is Senior Economist and Head of Employment-Oriented Social Policies at the OECD. He has headed research projects and policy dialogue on redistribution and inequality trends, minimum-income safety nets and activation policies and has been the lead author of reports on social policy responses to the economic crisis. He has initiated or co-led World Bank policy analyses in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region on population ageing and pensions, employment support and tax/transfer policies. He has also led employment and social policy reviews of countries seeking to join the OECD as part of its Accession process.
Herwig has held earlier staff positions at the World Bank and at the University of Cambridge, where he had a major role in developing EUROMOD, the EU-wide tax-benefit model. He is a Research Fellow at the the IZA in Bonn and a Research Associate/Affiliate at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER, University of Essex). He also served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Foundation of International Studies on Social Security (FISS), and was a member of the GINI research network.
Herwig has published widely on social, fiscal and labour-market topics in OECD and World Bank reports, as well as in academic journals including Economic Journal, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Economic Inequality, Review of Income and Wealth and International Tax and Public Finance. He has worked extensively on microsimulation methods and their application to policy analysis and evaluation.
Current ongoing work includes options for adapting social protection to a "future of work", examining the consequences of a Basic Income, trends in income inequality and government redistribution, safety-net benefits and minimum-income protection, rights and responsibilities in social protection systems, gender inequalities, minimum wages, and the implications of the economic crisis for employment and social policies.
Herwig is Austrian and holds a PhD in economics and Masters degrees in economics and in business administration.
He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in December 2004.
Recent debates of basic income (BI) proposals shine a useful spotlight on the challenges that traditional forms of income support are increasingly facing, and highlight gaps in social provisions that largely depend on income or employment status. A universal "no questions asked" public transfer would be simple and have the...
This paper proposes a novel method for identifying and visualising key employment obstacles that may prevent individuals from participating fully in the labour market. The approach is intended to complement existing sources of information that governments use when designing and implementing activation and employment-support policies. In particular, it aims to...
Means-tested Social Assistance (SA) benefits play an important role as social protection floors supporting households in financial difficulties. This paper presents evidence on the patterns of SA benefit receipt in a selection of OECD and EU countries. It provides an overview of the role of SA benefits in social protection...
We assess the effects of U.S. tax policy reforms on inequality by applying a new decomposition method that allows us to disentangle the direct policy effect from the effect of changing market incomes. Over the whole period 1979-2007 the cumulative tax policy effect aggravated income inequality by increasing the income...
We use a range of data sources to assess if, and to what extent, government redistribution policies have slowed or accelerated the trend towards greater income disparities in the past 20-25 years. In most countries, inequality among "non-elderly" households has widened during most phases of the economic cycle and any...
We assess the effects of U.S. tax policy reforms on inequality by applying a new decomposition method that allows us to disentangle mechanical effects due to changes in pre-tax incomes from direct effects of policy reforms. While tax reforms implemented under Democrat administrations, in particular the EITC reforms in the...
The main objectives of social assistance benefits, including poverty alleviation and labor-market or social reintegration, can be seriously compromised if support is difficult to access. While recent studies point to high non-take-up rates, existing evidence does not make full use of the information recorded by benefit agencies. Most studies have...
Macro-level changes can have substantial effects on the distribution of resources at the household level. While it is possible to speculate about which groups are likely to be hardest-hit, detailed distributional studies are still largely backward-looking. This paper suggests a straightforward approach to gauge the distributional and fiscal implications of...
Almost all OECD countries operate comprehensive minimum-income programmes for working-age individuals, either as last-resort safety nets alongside primary income replacement benefits, or as the principal instrument for delivering social protection. Such safety-net benefits aim primarily at providing an acceptable standard of living for families unable to earn sufficient incomes from...
This paper presents an evaluation of the tax-transfer treatment of married couples in 15 EU countries using the EUROMOD microsimulation model. First, we show that many tax-transfer schemes in Europe feature negative jointness defined as a situation where the tax rate on one person depends negatively on the earnings of...