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Incentive Effects of Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts: Evidence from Chile

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  • Reyes Hartley, Gonzalo

    ()
    (World Bank)

  • van Ours, Jan C.

    ()
    (Tilburg University)

  • Vodopivec, Milan

    ()
    (International School for Social and Business Studies, Celje, Slovenia)

Abstract

This study examines the determinants of job-finding rates of unemployment benefit recipients under the Chilean program. This is a unique, innovative program that combines social insurance through a solidarity fund (SF) with self-insurance in the form of unemployment insurance savings accounts (UISAs) – so as to mitigate the moral hazard problem of traditional unemployment insurance programs. Our study is the first one to empirically investigate whether UISAs improve work incentives. We find that for beneficiaries using the SF, the pattern of job finding rates over the duration of unemployment is consistent with moral hazard effects, while for beneficiaries relying on UISAs, the pattern is free of such effects. We also find that for benefit recipient not entitled to use the SF, the amount of accumulation on the UISA does not affect the exit rate from unemployment, suggesting that such individuals internalize the costs of unemployment benefits. Our results provide strong support to the idea that UISAs can improve work incentives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4681.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2011, 18 (6), 798-809
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4681

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Keywords: savings accounts; unemployment insurance; unemployment duration;

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References

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  1. Vodopivec, Milan, 2008. "How Viable Are Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts: Simulation Results for Slovenia," IZA Discussion Papers 3438, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. A. Bovenberg & Martin Hansen & Peter Sørensen, 2008. "Individual savings accounts for social insurance: rationale and alternative designs," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 67-86, February.
  3. David MARGOLIS, 2008. "“Unemployment Insurance Versus Individual Unemployment Accounts and Transitions to Formal Versus Informal Sector Jobs”," Working Papers 2008-35, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  4. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2003. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance Design: Time Limits, Monitoring, or Workfare?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1019, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Daniel T. Slesnick, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Household Welfare: Microeconomic Evidence 1980-93," NBER Working Papers 5315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ferrer, Ana & Riddell, W. Craig, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts in Latin America: Overview and Assessment," IZA Discussion Papers 5577, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2003. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Working Paper Series 2003:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  8. Martin Feldstein & Daniel Altman, 1998. "Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts," NBER Working Papers 6860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Joseph Stiglitz & Jungyoll Yun, 2002. "Integration of unemployment insurance with retirement insurance," Discussion Papers 0203-04, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  10. Holmlund, Bertil, 1998. " Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 113-41, March.
  11. Milan Vodopivec, 2004. "Income Support for the Unemployed : Issues and Options," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14922, October.
  12. Rafael Lalive & Jan Van Ours & Josef Zweim�ller, 2006. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 1009-1038.
  13. Olympia Bover & Manuel Arellano & Samuel Bentolila, 2002. "Unemployment Duration, Benefit Duration and the Business Cycle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 223-265, April.
  14. Folster, Stefan, 1999. "Social Insurance Based on Personal Savings," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 75(228), pages 5-18, March.
  15. Kugler, Adriana D., 2005. "Wage-shifting effects of severance payments savings accounts in Colombia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 487-500, February.
  16. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Erratum: Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1197-1197, December.
  17. Matthew Blackwell & Stefano Iacus & Gary King & Giuseppe Porro, 2010. "CEM: Coarsened Exact Matching in Stata," BOS10 Stata Conference 8, Stata Users Group.
  18. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. Berg & Jan C. Ours, 2005. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions on the Transition Rate from Unemployment to Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 602-630, 07.
  19. Orszag, Mike & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "From Unemployment Benefits to Unemployment Accounts," IZA Discussion Papers 532, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Milan Vodopivec, 2010. "How Viable are Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts? Simulation Results for Slovenia," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(2), pages 225-247, June.
  21. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  22. Chetty, Raj, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Scholarly Articles 9751256, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  23. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Vodopivec, Milan, 2009. "Introducing unemployment insurance to developing countries," Social Protection Discussion Papers 49170, The World Bank.
  2. Haroon Bhorat & Sumayya Goga & David Tseng, 2013. "Unemployment Insurance in South Africa: A Descriptive Overview of Claimants and Claims," Working Papers 13160, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  3. Amil Petrin & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2013. "Estimating Lost Output from Allocative Inefficiency, with an Application to Chile and Firing Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 286-301, March.
  4. Ferrer, Ana & Riddell, W. Craig, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts in Latin America: Overview and Assessment," IZA Discussion Papers 5577, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Holzmann, Robert & Pouget, Yann & Vodopivec, Milan & Weber, Michael, 2011. "Severance pay programs around the world : history, rationale, status, and reforms," Social Protection Discussion Papers 62726, The World Bank.
  6. Cristobal Huneeus & Silvia Leiva & Alejandro Micco, 2012. "Unemployment Insurance and Search Effort in Chile," Research Department Publications 4784, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. Fisher, Walter H. & Keuschnigg, Christian, 2011. "Life-Cycle Unemployment, Retirement, and Parametric Pension Reform," Economics Series 267, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  8. Isabel Poblete, 2011. "Análisis del uso de beneficios en el Seguro de Cesantía Chileno," Working Papers 51, Superintendencia de Pensiones, revised Oct 2011.
  9. Tatsiramos, Konstantinos & van Ours, Jan C, 2012. "Labor Market Effects of Unemployment Insurance Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 9196, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Robalino, David & Vodopivec, Milan & Bodor, Andras, 2009. "Savings for unemployment in good or bad times : options for developing countries," Social Protection Discussion Papers 50320, The World Bank.
  11. Nagler, Paula, 2013. "How unemployment insurance savings accounts affect employment duration: Evidence from Chile," MERIT Working Papers 039, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  12. Fernando Alexandre & Luís Aguiar Conraria & Pedro Bação & Miguel Portela, 2011. "A Poupança em Portugal," GEMF Working Papers 2011-19, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  13. Eduardo Fajnzylber R. & Isabel Poblete H., 2013. "Analysis of the use of benefits under Chilean unemployment insurance," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 16(3), pages 32-68, December.

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