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Why is there a Spike in the Job Finding Rate at Benefit Exhaustion?

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  • Jan Boone
  • Jan C. van Ours

Abstract

Putting a limit on the duration of unemployment benefits tends to introduce a “spike” in the job finding rate shortly before benefits are exhausted. Current theories explain this spike from workers’ behavior. We present a theoretical model in which also the nature of the job matters. End-of-benefit spikes in job finding rates are related to optimizing behavior of unemployed workers who rationally assume that employers will accept delays in the starting date of a new job, especially if these jobs are permanent. We use a dataset on Slovenian unemployment spells to test this prediction and find supporting evidence. We conclude that the spike in the job finding rate suggests that workers exploit unemployment insurance benefits for subsidized leisure.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2840.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2840

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Keywords: unemployment benefits; spikes;

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References

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  1. van Ours, Jan C. & Vodopivec, Milan, 2006. "Shortening the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits Does Not Affect the Quality of Post-Unemployment Jobs: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2171, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Rafael Lalive & Jan C. van Ours & Josef Zweimüller, 2004. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1337, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Kenneth Carling & Bertil Holmlund & Altin Vejsiu, 2000. "Do Benefit Cuts Boost Job Findings? Swedish Evidence From the 1990s," CESifo Working Paper Series 365, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Atkinson, Anthony B & Micklewright, John, 1991. "Unemployment Compensation and Labor Market Transitions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1679-1727, December.
  5. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," NBER Working Papers 12893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Vodopivec, Milan, 1995. "Unemployment insurance and duration of unemployment : evidence from Slovenia's transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1552, The World Bank.
  7. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
  8. Moffitt, Robert & Nicholson, Walter, 1982. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance on Unemployment: The Case of Federal Supplemental Benefits," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 1-11, February.
  9. Lawrence Katz & Bruce Meyer, 1988. "The Impact of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment," Working Papers 621, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  10. Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance And Unemployment Spells," NBER Working Papers 2546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. van den Berg, Gerard J, 1990. "Nonstationarity in Job Search Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 255-77, April.
  13. Adamchik, Vera, 1999. " The Effect of Unemployment Benefits on the Probability of Re-employment in Poland," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(1), pages 95-108, February.
  14. Lawrence F. Katz & Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance, Recall Expectations, And Unemployment Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 2594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Card, David & Levine, Phillip B., 2000. "Extended benefits and the duration of UI spells: evidence from the New Jersey extended benefit program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 107-138, October.
  16. Knut Roed & Tao Zhang, 2003. "Does Unemployment Compensation Affect Unemployment Duration?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 190-206, January.
  17. Jan C. van Ours & Milan Vodopivec, 2006. "How Shortening the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits Affects the Duration of Unemployment: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 351-378, April.
  18. van Ours, Jan C. & Vodopivec, Milan, 2008. "Does reducing unemployment insurance generosity reduce job match quality?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 684-695, April.
  19. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Herwig Immervoll, 2010. "Minimum Income Benefits in OECD Countries: Policy Design, Effectiveness and Challenges," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 100, OECD Publishing.
  2. Kahn, Lawrence M., 2009. "Temporary Jobs and Job Search Effort in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 4020, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Bart COCKX & Muriel DEJEMEPPE, 2010. "The Threat of Monitoring Job Search. A Discontinuity Design," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2010041, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  4. Rebollo-Sanz, Yolanda, 2012. "Unemployment insurance and job turnover in Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 403-426.
  5. Rafael Lalive & Analía Schlosser & Andreas Steinhauer & Josef Zweimüller, 2011. "Parental leave and mothers' careers: the relative importance of job protection and cash benefits," ECON - Working Papers 042, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Marco Caliendo & Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Arne Uhlendorff, 2009. "Benefit Duration, Unemployment Duration and Job Match Quality: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 967, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Regev, Tali, 2012. "Unemployment compensation under partial program coverage," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 888-897.

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