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The long-term effects of job search requirements: Evidence from the UK JSA reform

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  • Petrongolo, Barbara

Abstract

This paper investigates long-term returns from unemployment compensation, exploiting variation from the UK JSA reform of 1996, which implied a major increase in job search requirements for eligibility and in the related administrative hurdle. Search theory predicts that such changes should raise the proportion of nonclaimant nonemployed, with consequences on search effort and labor market attachment, and lower the reservation wage of the unemployed, with negative effects on post-unemployment wages. I test these ideas on longitudinal data from social security records (LLMDB). Using a difference in differences approach, I find that individuals who start an unemployment spell soon after JSA introduction, as opposed to 6Â months earlier, are 2.5-3% more likely to move from unemployment into Incapacity Benefits spells, and 4-5% less likely to have positive earnings in the following year. This latter employment effect only vanishes 4Â years after the initial unemployment shock. Also, annual earnings for the treated individuals are lower than for the non-treated. These results suggest that while tighter search requirements were successful in moving individuals off unemployment benefits, they were not successful in moving them onto stable or better jobs, with fairly long-lasting unintended consequences on a number of labor market outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 11-12 (December)
Pages: 1234-1253

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:11-12:p:1234-1253

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Unemployment compensation Job search Post-unemployment earnings;

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Long-term unemployment: There is no easy fix
    by Blog Admin in British Politics and Policy at LSE on 2013-10-22 07:00:35
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Cited by:
  1. B. Cockx & M. Dejemeppe & A. Launov & B. Van Der Linden, 2011. "Monitoring, Sanctions and Front-Loading of Job Search in a Non-Stationary Model," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/761, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  2. Cockx, Bart & Dejemeppe, Muriel, 2012. "Monitoring job search effort: An evaluation based on a regression discontinuity design," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 729-737.
  3. Cockx, Bart & Dejemeppe, Muriel, 2010. "The Threat of Monitoring Job Search: A Discontinuity Design," IZA Discussion Papers 5337, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Michael Lechner & Conny Wunsch, 2011. "Sensitivity of Matching-Based Program Evaluations to the Availability of Control Variables," CESifo Working Paper Series 3381, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Immervoll, Herwig, 2012. "Reforming the Benefit System to 'Make Work Pay': Options and Priorities in a Weak Labour Market," IZA Policy Papers 50, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. Giuseppe Bertola & John Driffill & Harold James & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Ákos Valentinyi, 2013. "Chapter 3: Labour Market Reform and Youth Unemployment," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 73-94, 02.
  8. David R. Howell & Miriam Rehm, 2009. "Unemployment Compensation and High European Unemployment: A Reassessment with New Benefit Indicators," Working Papers wp201, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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