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Incentive Effects of Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts: Evidence from Chile

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Author Info

  • 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. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2003. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance Design: Time Limits, Monitoring, or Workfare?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1019, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Rafael Lalive & Jan van Ours & Josef Zweimüller, . "How changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," IEW - Working Papers 206, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 173-234, 04.
  4. Martin Feldstein & Daniel Altman, 2007. "Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 21, pages 35-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  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. 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.
  9. Stiglitz, Joseph E. & Yun, Jungyoll, 2005. "Integration of unemployment insurance with retirement insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2037-2067, December.
  10. Holmlund, Bertil, 1997. "Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Working Paper Series 1997:25, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. Orszag, Mike & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "From Unemployment Benefits to Unemployment Accounts," IZA Discussion Papers 532, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. 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).
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
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  21. Ferrer, Ana M. & Riddell, W. Craig, 2009. "Unemployment insurance savings accounts in Latin America : overview and assessment," Social Protection Discussion Papers 49173, The World Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tatsiramos, Konstantinos & van Ours, Jan C, 2012. "Labor Market Effects of Unemployment Insurance Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 9196, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Robalino, David A. & Vodopivec, Milan & Bodor, András, 2009. "Savings for Unemployment in Good or Bad Times: Options for Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 4516, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Amil Petrin & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2011. "Estimating Lost Output from Allocative Inefficiency, with an Application to Chile and Firing Costs," NBER Working Papers 17373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fisher, Walter H. & Keuschnigg, Christian, 2011. "Life-Cycle Unemployment, Retirement, and Parametric Pension Reform," Economics Series 267, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  5. Vodopivec, Milan, 2009. "Introducing Unemployment Insurance to Developing Countries," IZA Policy Papers 6, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. Cristobal Huneeus & Silvia Leiva & Alejandro Micco, 2012. "Unemployment Insurance and Search Effort in Chile," Research Department Publications 4784, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  8. Ferrer, Ana M. & Riddell, W. Craig, 2009. "Unemployment insurance savings accounts in Latin America : overview and assessment," Social Protection Discussion Papers 49173, The World Bank.
  9. repec:dgr:unumer:2013039 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. 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.
  11. Isabel Poblete, 2011. "Análisis del uso de beneficios en el Seguro de Cesantía Chileno," Working Papers 51, Superintendencia de Pensiones, revised Oct 2011.
  12. 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).

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