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How Effective Are Unemployment Benefit Sanctions?

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  • Arni, Patrick
  • Lalive, Rafael
  • van Ours, Jan C.

Abstract

This paper provides a comprehensive evaluation of benefit sanctions, i.e. temporary reductions in unemployment benefits as punishment for noncompliance with eligibility requirements. In addition to the effects on unemployment durations, we evaluate the effects on post-unemployment employment stability, on exits from the labor market and on earnings. In our analysis we use a rich set of Swiss register data which allow us to distinguish between ex ante effects, the effects of warnings and the effects of enforcement of benefit sanctions. Adopting a multivariate mixed proportional hazard approach to address selectivity, we find that both warnings and enforcement increase the job finding rate and the exit rate out of the labor force. Warnings do not affect subsequent employment stability but do reduce post-unemployment earnings. Actual benefit reductions lower the quality of post-unemployment jobs both in terms of job duration as well as in terms of earnings. The net effect of a benefit sanction on post-unemployment income is negative. Over a period of two years after leaving unemployment workers who got a benefit sanction imposed face a net income loss equivalent to 30 days of full pay due to the ex post effect. In addition to that, stricter monitoring may reduce net earnings by up to 4 days of pay for every unemployed worker due to the ex ante effect.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7541.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7541

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Keywords: Benefit sanctions; competing-risk duration models; earnings effects; unemployment duration;

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References

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  1. Ashenfelter, Orley & Ashmore, David & Deschenes, Olivier, 2000. "Do Unemployment Insurance Recipients Actively Seek Work? Evidence From Randomized Trials in Four U.S. States," IZA Discussion Papers 128, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Martin, John P. & Grubb, David, 2001. "What works and for whom: a review of OECD countries' experiences with active labour market policies," Working Paper Series 2001:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "The Nonparametric Identification of Treatment Effects in Duration Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1491-1517, 09.
  4. Jensen, Peter & Rosholm, Michael & Svarer, Michael, 2003. "The response of youth unemployment to benefits, incentives, and sanctions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 301-316, June.
  5. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2006. "Cash-on-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 12639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gaure, Simen & Roed, Knut & Zhang, Tao, 2007. "Time and causality: A Monte Carlo assessment of the timing-of-events approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1159-1195, December.
  7. Bonnal, Liliane & Fougere, Denis & Serandon, Anne, 1997. "Evaluating the Impact of French Employment Policies on Individual Labour Market Histories," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 683-713, October.
  8. Gritz, R. Mark, 1993. "The impact of training on the frequency and duration of employment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1-3), pages 21-51.
  9. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Vikström, Johan, 2009. "Monitoring Job Offer Decisions, Punishments, Exit to Work, and Job Quality," IZA Discussion Papers 4325, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Boss, Alfred & Christensen, Björn & Schrader, Klaus, 2010. "Die Hartz IV-Falle: Wenn Arbeit nicht mehr lohnt," Kiel Discussion Papers 474/475, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  2. Picchio, Matteo, 2011. "Lagged Duration Dependence in Mixed Proportional Hazard Models," IZA Discussion Papers 6089, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Engström, Per & Hägglund, Pathric & Johansson, Per, 2012. "Early interventions and disability insurance: experience from a field experiment," Working Paper Series 2012:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. Cockx, Bart & Dejemeppe, Muriel, 2010. "The Threat of Monitoring Job Search: A Discontinuity Design," IZA Discussion Papers 5337, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Eugster, Beatrix, 2013. "Effects of a higher replacement rate on unemployment durations, employment, and earnings," Economics Working Paper Series 1320, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  6. Boockmann, Bernhard & Osiander, Christopher & Stops, Michael & Verbeek, Hans, 2013. "Effekte von Vermittlerhandeln und Vermittlerstrategien im SGB II und SGB III (Pilotstudie) : Abschlussbericht an das IAB durch das Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung e. V. (IAW), Tübingen," IAB-Forschungsbericht 201307, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  7. Barbara Hofmann, 2012. "Short- and Long-term Ex-Post Effects of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 232(1), pages 31-60, January.

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