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The effect of unemployment benefits on re-employment rates: Evidence from the Finnish unemployment insurance reform

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  • Uusitalo, Roope
  • Verho, Jouko

Abstract

In January 2003, the unemployment benefits in Finland were increased for workers with long employment histories. The average benefit increase was 15% for the first 150Â days of the unemployment spell. At the same time severance pay system was abolished. In this paper we evaluate the effect of the change in the benefit structure on the duration of unemployment by comparing the changes in the re-employment hazard profiles among the unemployed who were affected by the reform to the changes in a comparison group whose benefit structure remained unchanged. We find that the change in the benefit structure reduced the re-employment hazards by on average 17%. The effect is largest at the beginning of the unemployment spell and disappears after the eligibility period for the increased benefits expires.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 643-654

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:17:y:2010:i:4:p:643-654

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

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Keywords: Unemployment insurance Duration models;

References

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  1. Rafael Lalive & Jan C. van Ours & Josef Zweimüller, 2004. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1337, CESifo Group Munich.
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  3. Carling, Kenneth & Holmlund, Bertil & Vejsiu, Altin, 2001. "Do Benefit Cuts Boost Job Finding? Swedish Evidence from the 1990s," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 766-90, October.
  4. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M. & Imbens, Guido, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Scholarly Articles 3043416, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Chetty, Raj, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Scholarly Articles 9751256, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Uusitalo, Roope & Verho, Jouko, 2007. "The effect of unemployment benefits on re-employment rates: evidence from the Finnish UI-benefit reform," Working Paper Series 2007:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  7. Lalive, Rafael & Zweimuller, Josef, 2004. "Benefit entitlement and unemployment duration: The role of policy endogeneity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2587-2616, December.
  8. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
  9. Jennifer Hunt, 1992. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 50, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  10. Hakola, Tuulia & Uusitalo, Roope, 2005. "Not so voluntary retirement decisions? Evidence from a pension reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2121-2136, December.
  11. Helge Bennmarker & Kenneth Carling & Bertil Holmlund, 2005. "Do Benefit Hikes Damage Job Finding? Evidence from Swedish Unemployment Insurance Reforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 1460, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Tomi Kyyrä & Ralf Wilke, 2004. "Reduction in the Long-Term Unemployment of the Elderly: A Success Story from Finland," Discussion Papers 346, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  13. Card, David & Levine, Phillip B., 2000. "Extended benefits and the duration of UI spells: evidence from the New Jersey extended benefit program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 107-138, October.
  14. Alan B. Krueger & Bruce D. Meyer, 2002. "Labor Supply Effects of Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 9014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Knut Roed & Tao Zhang, 2003. "Does Unemployment Compensation Affect Unemployment Duration?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 190-206, January.
  16. Roed, Knut & Zhang, Tao, 2005. "Unemployment duration and economic incentives--a quasi random-assignment approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1799-1825, October.
  17. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Erratum: Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1197-1197, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Thomas Le Barbanchon, 2012. "The Effect of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on Unemployment Exits to Work and Match Quality in France," Working Papers 2012-21, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  2. Tatsiramos, Konstantinos & van Ours, Jan C, 2012. "Labor Market Effects of Unemployment Insurance Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 9196, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Simoes, Nadia, 2013. "Subsídio de desemprego: uma revisão da literatura teórica e empírica
    [Unemployment insurance: a survey]
    ," MPRA Paper 52332, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Florent Fremigacci, 2010. "Maximum Benefits Duration and Older Workers’Transitions out of Unemployment : a Regression Discontinuity Approach," Documents de recherche 10-12, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.

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