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Incentive Effects of Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts: Evidence from Chile

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  • Reyes, Gonzalo
  • van Ours, Jan C.
  • Vodopivec, Milan

Abstract

This study examines the determinants of job-finding rates of unemployment benefit recipients under the Chilean program. This is a unique, innovative program that combines social insurance through a solidarity fund (SF) with self-insurance in the form of unemployment insurance savings accounts (UISAs) - so as to mitigate the moral hazard problem of traditional unemployment insurance programs. Our study is the first one to empirically investigate whether UISAs improve work incentives. We find that for beneficiaries using the SF, the pattern of job finding rates over the duration of unemployment is consistent with moral hazard effects, while for beneficiaries relying on UISAs, the pattern is free of such effects. We also find that for benefit recipient not entitled to use the SF, the amount of accumulation on the UISA does not affect the exit rate from unemployment, suggesting that such individuals internalize the costs of unemployment benefits. Our results provide strong support to the idea that UISAs can improve work incentives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7632.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7632

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Keywords: savings account; unemployment duration; unemployment insurance;

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References

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  1. Holmlund, Bertil, 1998. " Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 113-41, March.
  2. Milan Vodopivec, 2010. "How Viable are Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts? Simulation Results for Slovenia," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(2), pages 225-247, June.
  3. 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.
  4. Ferrer, Ana & Riddell, W. Craig, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts in Latin America: Overview and Assessment," IZA Discussion Papers 5577, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Vodopivec, Milan, 2008. "How Viable Are Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts: Simulation Results for Slovenia," IZA Discussion Papers 3438, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2003. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance Design:Time Limits, Monitoring, or Workfare?," Working Paper Series 2003:17, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  7. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Erratum: Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1197-1197, December.
  8. Milan Vodopivec, 2004. "Income Support for the Unemployed : Issues and Options," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14922, July.
  9. A. Bovenberg & Martin Hansen & Peter Sørensen, 2008. "Individual savings accounts for social insurance: rationale and alternative designs," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 67-86, February.
  10. Abbring, Jaap H. & Berg, Gerard J. van den & Ours, Jan C. van, 1996. "The effect of unemployment insurance sanctions on the transition rate from unemployment to employment," Serie Research Memoranda 0038, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  11. 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.
  12. Rafael Lalive & Jan van Ours & Josef Zweimüller, . "How changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," IEW - Working Papers 206, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  13. Chetty, Raj, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Scholarly Articles 9751256, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Orszag, Mike & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "From Unemployment Benefits to Unemployment Accounts," IZA Discussion Papers 532, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Olympia Bover & Manuel Arellano & Samuel Bentolila, 2002. "Unemployment Duration, Benefit Duration and the Business Cycle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 223-265, April.
  16. Martin Feldstein & Daniel Altman, 1998. "Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts," NBER Working Papers 6860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2003. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," CESifo Working Paper Series 922, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Daniel T. Slesnick, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Household Welfare: Microeconomic Evidence 1980-93," NBER Working Papers 5315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Joseph Stiglitz & Jungyoll Yun, 2002. "Integration of Unemployment Insurance with Retirement Insurance," NBER Working Papers 9199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Matthew Blackwell & Stefano Iacus & Gary King & Giuseppe Porro, 2010. "CEM: Coarsened Exact Matching in Stata," BOS10 Stata Conference 8, Stata Users Group.
  21. David MARGOLIS, 2008. "“Unemployment Insurance Versus Individual Unemployment Accounts and Transitions to Formal Versus Informal Sector Jobs”," Working Papers 2008-35, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  22. Kugler, Adriana D., 2005. "Wage-shifting effects of severance payments savings accounts in Colombia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 487-500, February.
  23. Folster, Stefan, 1999. "Social Insurance Based on Personal Savings," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 75(228), pages 5-18, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Robalino, David & Vodopivec, Milan & Bodor, Andras, 2009. "Savings for unemployment in good or bad times : options for developing countries," Social Protection Discussion Papers 50320, The World Bank.
  2. Holzmann, Robert & Pouget, Yann & Vodopivec, Milan & Weber, Michael, 2011. "Severance pay programs around the world : history, rationale, status, and reforms," Social Protection Discussion Papers 62726, The World Bank.
  3. Tatsiramos, K. & Ours, J.C. van, 2012. "Labor Market Effects of Unemployment Insurance Design," Discussion Paper 2012-082, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Fisher, Walter H. & Keuschnigg, Christian, 2011. "Life-Cycle Unemployment, Retirement, and Parametric Pension Reform," Economics Series 267, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  5. Nagler, Paula, 2013. "How unemployment insurance savings accounts affect employment duration: Evidence from Chile," MERIT Working Papers 039, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  6. Isabel Poblete, 2011. "Análisis del uso de beneficios en el Seguro de Cesantía Chileno," Working Papers 51, Superintendencia de Pensiones, revised Oct 2011.
  7. Amil Petrin & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2011. "Estimating Lost Output from Allocative Inefficiency, with an Application to Chile and Firing Costs," NBER Working Papers 17373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Haroon Bhorat & Sumayya Goga & David Tseng, 2013. "Unemployment Insurance in South Africa: A Descriptive Overview of Claimants and Claims," Working Papers 13160, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  9. Paula Nagler, 2013. "How unemployment insurance savings accounts affect employment duration: evidence from Chile," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-25, December.
  10. Milan Vodopivec, 2013. "Introducing unemployment insurance to developing countries," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-23, December.
  11. Ferrer, Ana M. & Riddell, W. Craig, 2009. "Unemployment insurance savings accounts in Latin America : overview and assessment," Social Protection Discussion Papers 49173, The World Bank.
  12. Eduardo Fajnzylber R. & Isabel Poblete H., 2013. "Analysis of the use of benefits under Chilean unemployment insurance," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 16(3), pages 32-68, December.
  13. Fernando Alexandre & Luís Aguiar Conraria & Pedro Bação & Miguel Portela, 2011. "A Poupança em Portugal," GEMF Working Papers 2011-19, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  14. Cristobal Huneeus & Silvia Leiva & Alejandro Micco, 2012. "Unemployment Insurance and Search Effort in Chile," Research Department Publications 4784, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

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