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How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment

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Author Info

  • Rafael Lalive
  • Jan C. van Ours
  • Josef Zweimüller

Abstract

This paper studies how changes in the two key parameters of unemployment insurance – the benefit replacement rate (RR) and the potential duration of benefits (PBD) – affect the duration of unemployment. In 1989, the Austrian government made unemployment insurance more generous by changing, simultaneously, the maximum duration of regular unemployment benefits and the earnings replacement ratio. We find that increasing the replacement ratio has much weaker disincentive effects than increasing the maximum duration of benefits. We use these results to split up the total costs to unemployment insurance funds into costs due to changes in the unemployment insurance system and costs due to behavioral responses of unemployed workers. Results indicate that costs due to behavioural responses are substantial.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2004/wp-cesifo-2004-11/cesifo1_wp1337.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1337.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1337

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Keywords: maximum benefit duration; replacement rate; unemployment duration; unemployment insurance; policy change;

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References

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  22. Carling, Kenneth & Edin, Per-Anders & Harkman, Anders & Holmlund, Bertil, 1996. "Unemployment duration, unemployment benefits, and labor market programs in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 313-334, March.
  23. Green, David A & Riddell, W Craig, 1997. "Qualifying for Unemployment Insurance: An Empirical Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 67-84, January.
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