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Unemployment insurance design: Inducing moving and retraining

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  • Hassler, John
  • Rodríguez Mora, José V.

Abstract

Evidence suggests that unemployed individuals can affect their job prospects by undertaking a costly action like deciding to move or retrain. Realistically, such an opportunity only arises for some individuals and the identity of those may be unobservable ex ante. The problem of characterizing constrained optimal unemployment insurance in this case has been neglected in previous literature. We construct a model of optimal unemployment insurance where multiple incentive constraints are easily handled. The model is used to analyze the case when an incentive constraint involving moving costs must be respected in addition to the standard constraint involving costly unobservable job-search. Absent wealth effects on behavior, we derive closed-form solutions showing that when the moving/retraining incentive constraint binds, unemployment benefits should increase over the unemployment spell, with an initial period with low benefits and an increase after this period has expired.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 52 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (July)
Pages: 757-791

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:52:y:2008:i:5:p:757-791

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  1. Árpád Ábrahám & Nicola Pavoni, 2005. "The Efficient Allocation of Consumption under Moral Hazard and Hidden Access to the Credit Market," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 370-381, 04/05.
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Cited by:
  1. Christian Bayer & Klaus Wälde, 2010. "Matching and Saving in Continuous Time: Theory," Working Papers 1004, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 13 Jan 2010.
  2. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Straume, Odd Rune, 2007. "Technology resistance and globalisation with trade unions: the choice between employment protection and flexicurity," Working Papers in Economics 13/07, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  3. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Straume, Odd Rune, 2010. "Employment protection versus flexicurity: on technology adoption in unionised firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7919, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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