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A life-cycle model of unemployment and disability insurance

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The paper builds a life-cycle model of heterogeneous agents with search frictions, in which individuals choose a sequence of saving and labor supply faced with uncertainty in longevity, employment, health status and medical expenditures. Unemployed individuals decide search intensity and whether to apply for disability insurance (DI) benefits if eligible. We investigate, first, the effects of cash and Medicare benefits of the DI system on the life-cycle pattern of employment. Without in-kind benefits through Medicare, the DI coverage could fall by 30%. Second, the impact of a change in labor market conditions and roles of the DI are studied. A rise in exogenous job separation rates or a fall in job finding rates by 20% each can lead to a drop in employment rate by 1.7 and 2.1 percentage points, respectively. A model without the DI could underestimate the effect on employment by more than 30%.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hunter College Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College with number 442.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:htr:hcecon:442

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Keywords: Disability insurance; labor force participation; life-cycle; Medicare; unemployment insurance.;

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  1. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-99, April.
  2. Pavoni, Nicola & Violante, Giovanni L, 2006. "Optimal Welfare-to-Work Programs," CEPR Discussion Papers 5937, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Low, Hamish & Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2007. "Wage Risk and Employment Risk Over the Life Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 6187, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  7. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
  8. Alvarez, Fernando & Veracierto, Marcelo, 2001. "Severance payments in an economy with frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 477-498, June.
  9. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  10. Karen A. Kopecky & Tatyana Koreshkova, 2010. "The impact of medical and nursing home expenses and social insurance," Working Paper 2010-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  11. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
  12. Karsten Jeske & Sagiri Kitao, 2007. "U.S. tax policy and health insurance demand: can a regressive policy improve welfare?," Working Paper 2007-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  13. Palumbo, Michael G, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421, April.
  14. Marco Cagetti & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2007. "Estate Taxation, Entrepreneurship, and Wealth," NBER Working Papers 13160, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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