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The Long-Term Effects of Job Search Requirements: Evidence from the UK JSA Reform

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  • Petrongolo, Barbara

    ()
    (Queen Mary, University of London)

Abstract

This paper investigates long-term returns from unemployment compensation, exploiting variation from the UK JSA reform of 1996, which implied a major increase in job search requirements for eligibility and in the related administrative hurdle. Search theory predicts that such changes should raise the proportion of non-claimant nonemployed, with consequences on search effort and labor market attachment, and lower the reservation wage of the unemployed, with negative effects on post-unemployment wages. I test these ideas on longitudinal data from Social Security records (LLMDB). Using a difference in differences approach, I find that individuals who start an unemployment spell soon after JSA introduction, as opposed to six months earlier, are 2.5-3% more likely to move from unemployment into Incapacity Benefits spells, and 4-5% less likely to have positive earnings in the following year. This latter employment effect only vanishes four years after the initial unemployment shock. Also, annual earnings for the treated individuals are lower than for the non-treated. These results suggest that while tighter search requirements were successful in moving individuals off unemployment benefits, they were not successful in moving them onto long-lasting or better jobs, with fairly long lasting unintended consequences on a number of labor market outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3856.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2009, 93 (11-12), 1234-1253
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3856

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Keywords: post-unemployment earnings; job search; unemployment compensation;

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Long-term unemployment: There is no easy fix
    by Blog Admin in British Politics and Policy at LSE on 2013-10-22 07:00:35
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Cited by:
  1. Cockx, Bart & Dejemeppe, Muriel, 2010. "The Threat of Monitoring Job Search: A Discontinuity Design," IZA Discussion Papers 5337, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. David R. Howell & Miriam Rehm, 2009. "Unemployment Compensation and High European Unemployment: A Reassessment with New Benefit Indicators," Working Papers wp201, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  3. B. Cockx & M. Dejemeppe & A. Launov & B. Van Der Linden, 2011. "Monitoring, Sanctions and Front-Loading of Job Search in a Non-Stationary Model," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/761, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  4. Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2011. "Sensitivity of matching-based program evaluations to the availability of control variables," CEPR Discussion Papers 8294, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Immervoll, Herwig, 2012. "Reforming the Benefit System to 'Make Work Pay': Options and Priorities in a Weak Labour Market," IZA Policy Papers 50, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Cockx, Bart & Ghirelli, Corinna & Van der Linden, Bruno, 2014. "Is it socially efficient to impose job search requirements on unemployed benefit claimants with hyperbolic preferences?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 80-95.
  7. Cockx, Bart & Dejemeppe, Muriel, 2012. "Monitoring job search effort: An evaluation based on a regression discontinuity design," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 729-737.
  8. Pedro S. Martins & Sofia Pessoa e Costa, 2014. "Reemployment effects from increased activation: Evidence from times of crisis," Working Papers 52, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  9. Florent Fremigacci, 2010. "Maximum Benefits Duration and Older Workers’Transitions out of Unemployment : a Regression Discontinuity Approach," Documents de recherche 10-12, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.
  10. Sergi Jimenez-Martin & Judit Castello, 2013. "Business cycle and spillover effects on pre-retirement behavior in Spain," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-23, December.
  11. Giuseppe Bertola & John Driffill & Harold James & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Ákos Valentinyi, 2013. "Chapter 3: Labour Market Reform and Youth Unemployment," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 73-94, 02.

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