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SGB II research at IAB

The second book of the German Social Code (SGB II) came into effect on 1 January 2005. It combined unemployment benefit and social assistance to form a uniform basic income support scheme for those capable of work but in need of support (Grundsicherung für erwerbsfähige Hilfebedürftige). Together with benefits that ensure a basic standard of living, this support scheme also provides benefits aimed at reducing or ending dependency through the taking up of employment. In addition, the benefits are intended to help retain, restore or improve the employability of those requiring support.

The research mandate

In order to analyse the effects of the new SGB II comprehensively, the legislature has formulated two research mandates:

  • 1. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs compares the way in which the services are exercised by the local authorities providing support and by the so-called ARGEn (agencies run jointly by local employment agencies and the local authorities). It assigns research mandates correspondingly, i. e. evaluation according to Section 6c, SGB II (Wirkungsforschung zur Experimentierklausel). This research is limited to the question of which model is better suited to implementing the goals of SGB II and will end in 2008. Further information on "6c Research" can be found on the homepage of the Institute for Social Research and Social Policy.
  • 2. Research on the basic income support scheme (Grundsicherung) as a whole has been included in labour market and occupational research in accordance with Section 282 of SGB III and is thus to be carried out by IAB. i. e. evaluation according to SGB II, Section 55.

For IAB, this greatly extended research mandate means an expansion of its tasks as far as content is concerned and has had an effect on the organisational structure of the Institute.

Research Departments dealing with SGB II

The following Research Departments at IAB in particular deal with evaluation:

Coordination and planning of research

The research on SGB II is coordinated by a special staff unit which facilitates contact between researchers both within and outside IAB and with politicians and practitioners.

The research programme that IAB has undertaken for 2008 is both extensive and ambitious. It investigates the impact that SGB II reform has had at the levels of the individual, the organisation and society as a whole, and it does this from both the economic and the sociological perspective. At the same time, however, IAB's SGB II research also concentrates on gainful employment, the labour market and unemployment in accordance with the mandate on which IAB was founded.

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