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Benefit Duration, Unemployment Duration And Job Match Quality: A Regression‐Discontinuity Approach

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  • Marco Caliendo
  • Konstantinos Tatsiramos
  • Arne Uhlendorff

Abstract

The generosity of the Unemployment Insurance system (UI) plays a central role for the job search behavior of unemployed individuals. Standard search theory predicts that an increase in UI benefit generosity, either in terms of benefit duration or entitlement, has a negative impact on the job search activities of the unemployed increasing their unemployment duration. Despite the disincentive effect of UI on unemployment duration, UI benefit generosity may also increase job match quality by allowing individuals to wait for better job offers. In this paper we use a sharp discontinuity in the maximum duration of unemployment benefits in Germany, which increases from 12 months to 18 months at the age of 45, to identify the effect of extended benefit duration on unemployment duration and post-unemployment outcomes. We find a spike in the re-employment hazard for the unemployed workers with 12 months benefit duration, which occurs around benefit exhaustion. This leads to lower unemployment duration compared to their counterparts with 18 months benefit duration. However, we also show that those unemployed who obtain jobs close to and after the time when benefits are exhausted are significantly more likely to exit subsequent employment and receive lower wages compared to their counterparts with extended benefit duration.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (06)
Pages: 604-627

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Handle: RePEc:wly:japmet:v:28:y:2013:i:4:p:604-627

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  1. Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro, 2008. "How do different entitlements to unemployment benefits affect the transitions from unemployment into employment?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 206-209, December.
  2. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1996. "Potential Unemployment Benefit Duration and Spell Length: Lessons from a Quasi-experiment in Austria," CEPR Discussion Papers 1534, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2009. "Unemployment Insurance in Europe: Unemployment Duration and Subsequent Employment Stability," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1225-1260, December.
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  7. Card, David & Chetty, Raj & Weber, Andrea, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," IZA Discussion Papers 2590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L., 2000. "The effects of unemployment insurance on postunemployment earnings," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 21-53, January.
  9. Boone, Jan & van Ours, Jan C., 2009. "Why Is There a Spike in the Job Finding Rate at Benefit Exhaustion?," IZA Discussion Papers 4523, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  15. Mário Centeno, 2004. "The Match Quality Gains from Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
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  1. A brief note on unemployment
    by Jonas Feit in Conscience Warrior on 2013-12-09 16:00:00
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