Unemployment Insurance Take-up Rates in an Equilibrium Search Model
AbstractIn the US unemployment insurance (UI) system, only a fraction of those eligible for benefits actually collect them. We estimate this fraction using CPS data and detailed state-level eligibility criteria. We find that the fraction of eligible unemployed collecting benefits has been persistently below one, and is countercyclical. We show these empirical facts can be explained in an equilibrium search model where firms finance UI benefits via a payroll tax, and are heterogeneous with respect to their specific tax rate, which is experience rated. In equilibrium, low tax firms effectively offer workers an alternative UI scheme featuring a faster job arrival rate and a higher wage offer. Some eligible workers prefer the ``market'' scheme and thus do not collect UI. Quantitatively, the model does well matching key moments in the data. In addition, if all eligible unemployed collect, benefit expenditures increase by 29% and welfare increases by 0.43%. Average search effort decreases, but the unemployment rate and duration decrease as vacancy creation increases.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Concordia University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 13001.
Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 26 Jun 2013
Date of revision:
unemployment insurance; take-up; matching frictions; search;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
- J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Private Pensions
- J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
- J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-07-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-DGE-2013-07-15 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-IAS-2013-07-15 (Insurance Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2013-07-15 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2013-07-15 (Macroeconomics)
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