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On the optimality of search matching equilibrium when workers are risk averse

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  • Etienne LEHMANN

    (Creuset, Université de Saint-Etienne, and Eurequa, Université Paris 1 and Ermes, Université Paris 2)

  • Bruno VAN DER LINDEN

    (FNRS - Belgium and UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) - Belgium)

Abstract

This papers revisits the normative properties of search-matching economies when workers have concave utility functions. A general equilibrium framework is developed where agents are homogeneous and wages are bargained over. Assuming lump-sum taxation of profits, the optimal allocation of resources is characterized first when information is perfect and second when unemployed people freely choose their search effort. Compared to the first case, the optimum is characterized by imperfect unemployment insurance and lower levels of search intensity and output in the second setting. To decenralize these optima, employees should be unable to extract a rent when information is perfect. An appropriate positive rent is however needed in the second case. When the bargaining power of the workers is given, these outcomes can be implemented through a well-designed non-linear tax schedule and an appropriate level of unemployment benefits. According to the level of the bargaining power, taxation can be progressive or regressive. Negative marginal tax rates are even needed for sufficiently low levels of the bargaining power.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2002023.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2002023

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Keywords: Unemployment; Non-linear Taxation; Unemployment Benefits; Moral Hazard; Search; Matching;

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References

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  1. Boone, Jan & Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil & van Ours, Jan, 2001. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Monitoring and Sanctions," Working Paper Series 2001:20, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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  3. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," NBER Working Papers 7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Boone, Jan & Bovenberg, A Lans, 2002. "The Optimal Taxation of Unskilled Labour with Job Search and Social Assistance," CEPR Discussion Papers 3446, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Robin Boadway & Katherine Cuff, 1999. "Monitoring Job Search as an Instrument for Targeting Transfers," Working Papers 982, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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  14. Alan Manning, 2001. "Monopsony and the Efficiency of Labour Market Interventions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0514, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  15. Holmlund, B. & Kolm, A.S., 1995. "Progressive Taxation, Wage Setting and Unemployment - Theory and Swedish Evidence," Papers 15, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  16. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-62, December.
  17. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  18. Fredriksson, P. & Holmlund, B., 1998. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Papers 1998-2, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  19. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  20. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
  21. Jan Boone & Ruud A. De Mooij, 2000. "Tax Policy in a Model of Search with Training," CESifo Working Paper Series 232, CESifo Group Munich.
  22. Boone, Jan & Bovenberg, Lans, 2002. "Optimal labour taxation and search," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 53-97, July.
  23. Mathias, HUNGERBUELHER & Etienne, LEHMANN & Alexis PARMENTIER & Bruno VAN DER LINDEN, 2003. "Optimal Income Taxation in an Equilibrium Unemployment Model : Mirrlees meets Pissarides," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2003024, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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