Alexander Spermann

University of Freiburg

Alexander Spermann was employed as IZA Director of Labor Policy Germany from April 2014 until December 2016. At IZA he was involved in various policy advice activities with respect to new labor market trends (e.g., sharing economy, digitization, e-learning). Before joining IZA he was Director at Randstad Germany (2007-2014) and Head of the Department Labour Market, Human Resources and Social Policy at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim (2002-2007). He has been Associate Professor at the University of Freiburg since 1999.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 9134
published in: IZA Journal of Labor Policy, 2015, 4:15

The number of long-term unemployed in Germany has stagnated at around one million for several years. Despite excellent labour market conditions, the long-term unemployment rate is well above the OECD average. Therefore, the "carrot and stick" principle of Hartz reforms is in clear need of further development. The author proposes...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6180
published in: Bouncken, Ricarda B. u. Lutz Bellmann u. Manfred Bornewasser (ed.), Die neue Rolle der Zeitarbeit in Deutschland, Beiträge zur Flexibilisierung, Band 3, München und Mering , 2012, 203-224.

This paper reviews the development of temporary agency work after its deregulation in the context of the so-called Hartz reforms in Germany. The new role of agency work emerges from its enormous growth after deregulation, the intense use of agency work by big stock-listed companies and upcoming structural shortage of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2625
Melanie Arntz, Ralf Sacchetto, Alexander Spermann, Susanne Steffes, Sarah Widmaier

Regarding social needs in Germany long-term care is an important issue due to an ageing population. Shrinking social networks are leading to a greater need for a public long-term care system. In 1995 the social long-term care insurance was introduced in Germany. In recent years some drawbacks of the social...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2398
published in: Applied Economics Quarterly Supplement, 2006, 57, 113-130

This paper advocates the cautious and constitutional evolution of existing basic income schemes (“unemployment benefit II”) and Targeted Negative Income Tax (TNIT = "Einstiegsgeld") into a means-tested combi-wage model for the future long-term unemployed (gradualism strategy). The paper argues that, with regard to existing unemployment benefit II claimants, stronger financial...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2109
published in: Labour Economics, 2006, 13 (4), 505-517

Job placement vouchers can be regarded as a tool to spur competition between public and private job placement activities. The German government launched this instrument in order to end the public placement monopoly and to subsidize its private competitors. We exploit very rich administrative data provided for the first time...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2067

We report empirical evidence from the first field experiments to be conducted in Germany with program and control groups between 1999 and 2002. The evaluated program called "Targeted Negative Income Tax (TNIT)" is a time-restricted employee subsidy for means-tested welfare recipients. We focus on a unique data set on welfare...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 285
published in: Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, 2001, 34 (4), 567-576;
see IZA Reprints 156/03

In diesem Beitrag wird ein vom Bundesministerium für Arbeit bezuschusstes Modellprojekt - die Mannheimer Arbeitsvermittlungsagentur (MAVA) - mit Hilfe von Matching-Methoden untersucht. In der MAVA arbeiten Mitarbeiter des Sozial- und Arbeitsamts eng bei der Vermittlung arbeitsfähiger Sozialhilfeempfänger zusammen. Wesentliches Kennzeichen ist ein relativ zum Sozial- bzw. Arbeitsamt günstigerer Personalschlüssel zwischen...

IZA Policy Paper No. 83
published as "Ist die OECD-Kompetenzrevolution in Deutschland angekommen?" in: Das Demographie Netzwerk (ed.), Lust am Lernen – ein Leben lang, 2014, 8-18

Lifelong learning represents a key response to the demographic challenge in Germany. In terms of professional success, not only hard skills but also soft skills hold importance. Indeed, the OECD competence tests PISA and PIAAC have come to the fore, although acquired skills are still relevant. Given the increasing skills...

IZA Policy Paper No. 70
published as "Wandel und Stabilität in der Arbeitswelt – Das Beispiel der Zeitarbeit" in: Schmalenbachs Zeitschrift für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung, 2014, 68, 88-101

The enormous speed of change in the working world is associated with greater job insecurity. As a dynamic external flexibilization instrument, temporary agency work is characterized by high labor turnover rates. As a result, agency workers might perceive more job insecurity than permanent staff. This paper surveys German empirical studies...

IZA Policy Paper No. 67
published in German as "Branchenzuschläge in der Zeitarbeit – ein Weg aus dem Niedriglohnsektor?" in: Bouncken, Ricarda B. u. Manfred Bornewasser u. Lutz Bellmann (Hg.), Neue Herausforderungen in der Zeitarbeit, Beiträge zur Flexibilisierung, 2013, Band 5, 105-135

Sector-specific surcharge collective labor agreements between the bargaining partners in the staffing industry allow for a reduction of wage gaps between agency workers and permanent staff in case of long-term job assignments to user companies. Surcharges up to 50% after a surcharge-free period between four and six weeks close the...