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An adverse selection model of optimal unemployment insurance

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Author Info

  • Hagedorn, Marcus
  • Kaul, Ashok
  • Mennel, Tim

Abstract

We ask whether offering a menu of unemployment insurance contracts is welfare-improving in a heterogeneous population. We adopt a repeated moral hazard framework as in Shavell and Weiss (1979), supplemented by unobserved heterogeneity about agents' job opportunities. Our main theoretical contribution is a quasi-recursive formulation of our adverse selection problem, including a geometric characterization of the state space. Our main economic result is that optimal contracts for "bad" searchers tend to be upward-sloping due to an adverse selection effect. This is in contrast to the well-known optimal decreasing time profile of benefits in pure moral hazard environments that continue to be optimal for "good" searchers in our model.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 34 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 490-502

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:34:y:2010:i:3:p:490-502

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

Related research

Keywords: Unemployment insurance Recursive contracts Adverse selection Repeated moral hazard;

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References

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  1. Williamson, Stephen D. & Wang, Cheng, 1999. "Moral Hazard, Optimal Unemployment Insurance, and Experience Rating," Working Papers 99-03, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  2. Hagedorn, Marcus & Kaul, Ashok & Mennel, Tim, 2002. "An adverse selection model of optimal unemployment insurance," ZEI Working Papers B 30-2002, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  3. Hassler, John & Rodriguez Mora, José V., 2002. "Should UI Benefits Really Fall Over Time?," IZA Discussion Papers 622, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1990. "Toward a Theory of Discounted Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1041-63, September.
  5. Ana Fernandes & Christopher Phelan, 1999. "A recursive formulation for repeated agency with history dependence," Staff Report 259, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  7. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2006. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 357-386, 07.
  8. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
  9. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-62, December.
  10. Blank, Rebecca M & Card, David E, 1991. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1157-89, November.
  11. Spear, Stephen E & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617, October.
  12. Mortensen, Dale T., 1983. "A welfare analysis of unemployment insurance: Variations on second-best themes," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 67-97, January.
  13. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
  14. Jullien, Bruno, 1997. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," IDEI Working Papers 67, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  15. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, December.
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  17. Atkinson, Anthony B & Micklewright, John, 1991. "Unemployment Compensation and Labor Market Transitions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1679-1727, December.
  18. Kenneth L. Judd & Sevin Yeltekin & James Conklin, 2003. "Computing Supergame Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1239-1254, 07.
  19. Pavoni, Nicola, 2007. "On optimal unemployment compensation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1612-1630, September.
  20. Edi Karni, 1999. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance: A Survey," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 442-465, October.
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  22. Rasmus Lentz, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in an Estimated Job Search Model with Savings," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 37-57, January.
  23. Chang, Roberto, 1998. "Credible Monetary Policy in an Infinite Horizon Model: Recursive Approaches," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 431-461, August.
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  25. Gilles Joseph & Thomas Weitzenblum, 2003. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance: Transitional Dynamics vs. Steady State," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 869-884, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Laun, Tobias, 2012. "Optimal Social Insurance with Endogenous Health," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 742, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 28 Apr 2012.
  2. Marcus Hagedorn & Ashok Kaul & Tim Mennel, . "An Adverse Selection Model of Optimal Unemployment Insurance," IEW - Working Papers 237, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. repec:hal:cesptp:hal-00668989 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Langot, François & Ménard, Sébastien & Sopraseuth, Thepthida, 2012. "Optimal unemployment insurance for older workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 509-519.
  5. O'Flaherty, Brendan, 2009. "When should homeless families get subsidized apartments? A theoretical inquiry," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 69-80, June.
  6. repec:tep:teppwp:wp1021 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Anne Bucher & Sébastien Ménard, 2010. "Employment Protection Legislation and Adverse Selection at the Labor Market Entry," TEPP Working Paper 2010-21, TEPP.
  8. David L. Fuller, 2010. "Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard: Quantitative Implications for Unemployment Insurance," Working Papers 12004, Concordia University, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2011.
  9. Fuller, David L., 2014. "Adverse selection and moral hazard: Quantitative implications for unemployment insurance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 108-122.
  10. Arpad Abraham & Nicola Pavoni, 2008. "Efficient Allocations with Moral Hazard and Hidden Borrowing and Lending: A Recursive Formulation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 781-803, October.

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