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A Positive Theory of Geographic Mobility and Social Insurance

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  • John Hassler
  • José Vicente Rodríguez Mora

Abstract

Evidence suggests that unemployed individuals sometimes can affect their job prospects by undertaking a costly action like deciding to move or retrain. Realistically, such an opportunity arises only for some individuals and the identity of those is unobservable. Unemployment insurance should then be designed to induce individuals to exploit existing opportunities to move or retrain without excessively diminishing the insurance value for the remaining unemployed. This problem has been neglected in previous literature on unemployment insurance design and we show that it may have important consequences. In particular, we derive closed-form solutions, showing that unemployment benefits should increase over the unemployment spell, having an initial period with low benefits and a substantial increase after this period has expired.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 97.

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Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:97

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Keywords: Unemployment benefits; search; moral hazard; adverse selection;

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References

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  1. Brunello, Giorgio & Lupi, Claudio & Ordine, Patrizia, 2001. "Widening differences in Italian regional unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 103-129, January.
  2. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-47, April.
  3. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1993. "On the Political Economy of Labour Market Flexibility," CEPR Discussion Papers 803, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Bartel, Ann P, 1979. "The Migration Decision: What Role Does Job Mobility Play?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 775-86, December.
  5. DaVanzo, Julie, 1978. "Does Unemployment Affect Migration?-Evidence from Micro Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(4), pages 504-14, November.
  6. Cameron, Gavin & Muellbauer, John, 1998. "The Housing Market and Regional Commuting and Migration Choices," CEPR Discussion Papers 1945, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Borjas, George J & Bronars, Stephen G & Trejo, Stephen J, 1992. "Assimilation and the Earnings of Young Internal Migrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 170-75, February.
  8. Bentolila, S, 1996. "Sticky Labor in Spanish Regions," Papers 9616, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  9. Diamond, Peter A, 1981. "Mobility Costs, Frictional Unemployment, and Efficiency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 798-812, August.
  10. Bover, Olympia & Muellbauer, John & Murphy, Anthony, 1989. "Housing, Wages and UK Labour Markets," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(2), pages 97-136, March.
  11. Hassler, John & Rodriguez Mora, Jose V., 1999. "Employment turnover and the public allocation of unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 55-83, July.
  12. McCormick, Barry, 1997. "Regional unemployment and labour mobility in the UK," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 581-589, April.
  13. Wright, Randall, 1986. "The redistributive roles of unemployment insurance and the dynamics of voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 377-399, December.
  14. Pallage, Stephane & Zimmermann, Christian, 2001. "Voting on Unemployment Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 903-23, November.
  15. Kennan, John & Walker, James R., 2010. "Wages, welfare benefits and migration," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 229-238, May.
  16. Krieg, Randall G., 1997. "Occupational change, employer change, internal migration, and earnings," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-15, February.
  17. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  18. Pissarides, Christopher A & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 1989. "Unemployment and the Inter-regional Mobility of Labour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 739-55, September.
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