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Assessing the Welfare Effects of Unemployment Benefits Using the Regression Kink Design

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Author Info

  • Landais, Camille

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

I investigate in this paper partial equilibrium labor supply responses to unemployment insurance (UI) in the US. I use administrative data on the universe of unemployment spells in five states from the late 1970s to 1984, and non-parametrically identify the effect of both benefit level and potential duration in the regression kink (RK) design using kinks in the schedule of UI benefits. I provide many tests for the robustness of the RK design, and demonstrate its validity to overcome the traditional issue of endogeneity in UI benefit variations on US data. I also show how, in the tradition of the dynamic labor supply literature, one can identify the purely distortionary effects of UI using variations along the returns-to-employment profile brought about by exogenous variations in the benefit level as well as in the benefit duration. I then use these estimates to calibrate the welfare effects of an increase in UI benefit level and in UI potential duration.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7589.

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Length: 84 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7589

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Related research

Keywords: unemployment insurance; regression kink design;

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References

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  1. Krueger, Alan B. & Mueller, Andreas I., 2011. "Job Search and Job Finding in a Period of Mass Unemployment: Evidence from High-Frequency Longitudinal Data," IZA Discussion Papers 5450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Optimal unemployment insurance over the business cycle," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35596, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Chetty, Raj, 2006. "A general formula for the optimal level of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1879-1901, November.
  4. Simonsen, Marianne & Skipper, Lars & Skipper, Niels, 2010. "Price Sensitivity of Demand for Prescription Drugs: Exploiting a Regression Kink Design," Working Papers 10-1, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. Yingying Dong, 2011. "Jumpy or Kinky? Regression Discontinuity without the Discontinuity," Working Papers 111207, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  6. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  7. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2012. "The Effects of Extended Unemployment Insurance Over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over 20 Years," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 701-752.
  8. Kroft, Kory, 2008. "Takeup, social multipliers and optimal social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 722-737, April.
  9. David Card & David Lee & Zhuan Pei & Andrea Weber, 2012. "Nonlinear Policy Rules and the Identification and Estimation of Causal Effects in a Generalized Regression Kink Design," NBER Working Papers 18564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Holmlund, Bertil, 1998. " Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 113-41, March.
  11. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  12. Jesse Rothstein, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search in the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 17534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Stefano DellaVigna & M. Daniele Paserman, 2004. "Job Search and Impatience," NBER Working Papers 10837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
  15. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
  16. Dong, Yingying, 2010. "Jumpy or Kinky? Regression Discontinuity without the Discontinuity," MPRA Paper 25427, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David E. Card & David S. Lee & Zhuan Pei & Andrea Weber, 2012. "Nonlinear Policy Rules and the Identification and Estimation of Causal Effects in a Generalized Regression Kink Design," NRN working papers 2012-14, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. Lukas Inderbitzin & Stefan Staubli & Josef Zweimüller, 2013. "Extended Unemployment Benefits and Early Retirement: Program Complementarity and Program Substitution," Economics working papers 2013-06, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. Bertil Holmlund, 2014. "What Do Labor Market Institutions Do?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4582, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Holmlund, Bertil, 2013. "What do labor market institutions do?," Working Paper Series 2013:23, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2012. "Optimal labor market policy with search frictions and risk-averse workers," Working Papers hal-00757173, HAL.
  6. Ando, Michihito, 2013. "How Much Should We Trust Regression-Kink-Design Estimates?," Working Paper Series 2013:22, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  7. François Gerard & Gustavo Gonzaga, 2013. "Informal Labor and the Cost of Social Programs: Evidence from 15 Years of Unemployment Insurance in Brazil," Textos para discussão 608, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  8. Holmlund, Bertil, 2013. "What Do Labor Market Institutions Do?," IZA Discussion Papers 7809, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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