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Unemployment Insurance Design: Inducing Moving and Retraining

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  • Hassler, John
  • Rodríguez Mora, José Vicente

Abstract

Evidence suggests that unemployed individuals can sometimes affect their job prospects by undertaking a costly action like deciding to move or retrain. Realistically, such an opportunity only arises for some individuals and the identity of those may be unobservable ex-ante. The problem of characterizing constrained optimal unemployment insurance in this case has been neglected in previous literature. We construct a model of optimal unemployment insurance where multiple incentive constraints are easily handled. The model is used to analyze the case when an incentive constraint involving moving costs must be respected in addition to the standard constraint involving costly unobservable job-search. In particular, we derive closed-form solutions showing that when the moving/retraining incentive constraint binds, unemployment benefits should increase over the unemployment spell, with an initial period with low benefits and an increase after this period has expired.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6364.

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Date of creation: Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6364

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

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References

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  1. Raj Chetty, 2005. "A General Formula for the Optimal Level of Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 11386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  3. Robert Shimer & Ivan Werning, 2006. "Reservation Wages and Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 12618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Cash-On-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1511-1560, November.
  5. 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.
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  8. Raj Chetty & Adam Szeidl, 2007. "Consumption Commitments and Risk Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 831-877, 05.
  9. John Hassler & José Vicente Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2003. "A Positive Theory of Geographic Mobility and Social Insurance," Working Papers 86, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  10. Cahuc, Pierre & Lehmann, Etienne, 2000. "Should unemployment benefits decrease with the unemployment spell?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 135-153, July.
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  14. Hassler, John & Rodriguez Mora, José V., 2002. "Should UI Benefits Really Fall Over Time?," IZA Discussion Papers 622, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  19. 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.
  20. Árpád Ábrahám & Nicola Pavoni, 2005. "The Efficient Allocation of Consumption under Moral Hazard and Hidden Access to the Credit Market," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 370-381, 04/05.
  21. Engen, Eric M. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 545-579, June.
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  23. McCormick, Barry, 1997. "Regional unemployment and labour mobility in the UK," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 581-589, April.
  24. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Out Spousal Labor Supply?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 546-72, July.
  25. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Odd Rune Straume, 2007. "Technology resistance and globalisation with trade unions: the choice between employment protection and flexicurity," NIPE Working Papers 25/2007, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  2. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Odd Rune Straume, 2012. "Employment Protection Versus Flexicurity: On Technology Adoption in Unionised Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(1), pages 177-199, 03.
  3. Christian Bayer & Klaus Wälde, 2010. "Matching and Saving in Continuous Time: Theory," CESifo Working Paper Series 3026, CESifo Group Munich.

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