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Optimal Unemployment Insurance: Transitional Dynamics vs. Steady State

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  • Gilles Joseph

    (Universite Catholique de Louvain)

  • Thomas Weitzenblum

    (Universite Paris-Dauphine and CEPREMAP)

Abstract

In this study, we ask whether the presence of precautionary savings substantially reduces the optimal replacement rate in an European economy type characterized by high unemployment benefits and moral hazard. We build a simple job search model calibrated on French data and, in line with previous studies, find that the optimality criterion based on comparisons of steady states leads to a low optimal ratio. Yet, this result ignores potential transitional costs due to the necessity for agents to increase their savings and reduce their consumption whenever the ratio is cut. We therefore build a dynamic model taking full account of the transition, and show that a reduction in benefits reduces welfare. Even though the long-run optimal replacement rate is lower than the current one, transitional costs dominate long-run gains. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1094-2025(03)00021-8
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 869-884

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:6:y:2003:i:4:p:869-884

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Related research

Keywords: equilibrium unemployment; job search; moral hazard; precautionary savings; unemployment insurance.;

References

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  1. Martin Browning & Thomas Crossley, 1996. "Unemployment Insurance Benefit Levels and Consumption Changes," Department of Economics Working Papers 1996-01, McMaster University.
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  3. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2001. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 370-99, April.
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  19. Deaton, A., 1989. "Saving And Liquidity Constraints," Papers 153, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  20. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Prescott, Edward C, 1992. "Stochastic Monotonicity and Stationary Distributions for Dynamic Economies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1387-406, November.
  21. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
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  25. James Costain, 1997. "Unemployment insurance with endogenous search intensity and precautionary saving," Economics Working Papers 243, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Toshihiko Mukoyama, 2010. "Understanding the Welfare Effects of Unemployment Insurance Policy in General Equilibrium," 2010 Meeting Papers 286, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Takashi Kamihigashi & John Stachurski, 2012. "Existence, Uniqueness and Stability of Stationary Distributions: An Extension of the Hopenhayn-Prescott Theorem," Discussion Paper Series DP2012-27, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  4. Takashi Kamihigashi & John Stachurski, 2011. "Stability of Stationary Distributions in Monotone Economies," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2011-561, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  5. Wolf-Heimo Grieben, 2005. "Schumpeterian growth and the political economy of employment protection," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 77-118, December.
  6. Stachurski, John & Kamihigashi, Takashi, 2014. "Stochastic stability in monotone economies," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), May.
  7. Takashi Kamihigashi & John Stachurski, 2011. "Existence, Stability and Computation of Stationary Distributions: An Extension of the Hopenhayn-Prescott Theorem," Discussion Paper Series DP2011-32, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.

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