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Unemployment Insurance and Search Effort in Chile

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  • Cristobal Huneeus
  • Silvia Leiva
  • Alejandro Micco

Abstract

Unemployment is a pressing problem in many countries in Latin America. Financial crises and increased globalization increase job turnover and therefore the risk of unemployment. To protect workers, Chile implemented an innovative unemployment insurance (UI) system. UI protects workers but creates moral hazard and self-selection issues. Using administrative data for the period 2007 to 2010, the effect of the 2009 reform of UI on job search behavior was studied. The results revealed different job search behavior between workers who use unemployment benefits and those who do not. Search efforts were found to fall as long as unemployment benefits are in place. There is strong evidence that workers who decide not to take UI despite having the right to do so have a higher probability of finding a new job.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4784.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4784

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  1. Lalive, Rafael & Zweimuller, Josef, 2004. "Benefit entitlement and unemployment duration: The role of policy endogeneity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2587-2616, December.
  2. Solange Berstein & Eduardo Fajnzylber & Pamela Gana & Isabel Poblete, 2007. "Cinco Años de Funcionamiento del Seguro de Cesantía en Chile," Working Papers 23, Superintendencia de Pensiones, revised Dec 2007.
  3. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok, 2007. "Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Unemployment Insurance from New York State," NBER Working Papers 12865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Reyes Hartley, Gonzalo & van Ours, Jan C. & Vodopivec, Milan, 2010. "Incentive Effects of Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts: Evidence from Chile," IZA Discussion Papers 4681, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Card, David & Levine, Phillip B., 2000. "Extended benefits and the duration of UI spells: evidence from the New Jersey extended benefit program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 107-138, October.
  6. 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.
  7. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, December.
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