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Unemployment benefits and unemployment in the Great Recession: the role of macro effects

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  • Marcus Hagedorn
  • Fatih Karahan
  • Iourii Manovskii
  • Kurt Mitman

Abstract

We exploit a policy discontinuity at U.S. state borders to identify the effects of unemployment insurance policies on unemployment. Our estimates imply that most of the persistent increase in unemployment during the Great Recession can be accounted for by the unprecedented extensions of unemployment benefit eligibility. In contrast to the existing recent literature that mainly focused on estimating the effects of benefit duration on job search and acceptance strategies of the unemployed—the micro effect—we focus on measuring the general equilibrium macro effect that operates primarily through the response of job creation to unemployment benefit extensions. We find that it is the latter effect that is very important quantitatively.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 646.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:646

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Keywords: Recessions ; Unemployment ; Unemployment insurance ; Wages ; Employment ; Job creation;

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  1. Card, David & Chetty, Raj & Weber, Andrea, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," IZA Discussion Papers 2590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Jed Kolko & David Neumark & Marisol Cuellar Mejia, 2011. "What Do Business Climate Indexes Teach Us About State Policy and Economic Growth?," NBER Working Papers 16968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2012. "The Effects of Extended Unemployment Insurance Over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over 20 Years," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 701-752.
  4. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
  5. Donald W.K. Andrews, 2004. "Cross-section Regression with Common Shocks," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm401, Yale School of Management.
  6. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee Ohanian, 2012. "Foreclosure delay and U.S. unemployment," Working Papers 2012-017, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  7. Casey B. Mulligan, 2008. "A Depressing Scenario: Mortgage Debt Becomes Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 14514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. James S. Costain & Michael Reiter, 2003. "Business Cycles, Unemployment Insurance, and the Calibration of Matching Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 1008, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Rothstein, Jesse, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search in the Great Recession," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt5611t356, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  10. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
  11. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Rafael Lalive & Camille Landais & Josef Zweimüller, 2013. "Market Externalities of Large Unemployment Insurance Extension Programs," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 13.15, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  2. Paul Gomme & Damba Lkhagvasuren, 2011. "The Cyclicality of Search Intensity in a Competitive Search Model," Working Papers 11003, Concordia University, Department of Economics.
  3. Julien Albertini & Arthur Poirier, 2014. "Unemployment benefits extensions at the zero lower bound on nominal interest rate," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2014-019, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

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