Measuring Unemployment Insurance Generosity
AbstractUnemployment insurance policies are multidimensional objects. They are typically defined by waiting periods, eligibility duration, benefit levels and asset tests when eligible, which make intertemporal or international comparisons difficult. To make things worse, labor market conditions, such as the likelihood and duration of unemployment matter when assessing the generosity of different policies. In this paper, we develop a methodology to measure the generosity of unemployment insurance programs with a single metric. We build a first model with such complex characteristics. Our model features heterogeneous agents that are liquidity constrained but can self-insure. We then build a second model that is similar, except that the unemployment insurance is simpler: it is deprived of waiting periods and agents are eligible forever with constant benefits. We then determine which level of benefits in this second model makes agents indifferent between both unemployment insurance policies. We apply this strategy to the unemployment insurance program of the United Kingdom and study how its generosity evolved over time.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0921.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Social policy; generosity; unemployment insurance; measurement;
Other versions of this item:
- Lyle Scruggs & Christian Zimmermann & Stephane Pallage, 2008. "Measuring Unemployment Insurance Generosity," 2008 Meeting Papers 662, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Stephane Pallage & Lyle Scruggs & Christian Zimmermann, 2008. "Measuring Unemployment Insurance Generosity," Working papers 2008-42, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
- Pallage, Stéphane & Scruggs, Lyle & Zimmermann, Christian, 2008. "Measuring Unemployment Insurance Generosity," IZA Discussion Papers 3868, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution
- J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-07-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-DGE-2009-07-03 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-IAS-2009-07-03 (Insurance Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2009-07-03 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2009-07-03 (Macroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979.
"The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-62, December.
- Steven Shavell & Laurence Weiss, 1978. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 503, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2005.
"The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited,"
2005 Meeting Papers
460, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
- Hagedorn, Marcus & Manovskii, Iourii, 2008. "The cyclical behavior of equilibrium unemployment and vacancies revisited," Working Paper Series 0853, European Central Bank.
- Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2007. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," IEW - Working Papers 351, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael Porta & Florencio C. Lopez-De-Silanes, 2004.
"The Regulation of Labor,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382, November.
- Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio LÃ³pez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Labor," Working Paper 19483, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Juan Botero, 2003. "The Regulation of Labor," NBER Working Papers 9756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas Sargent, 1999. "Matlab code for Hopenhayn-Nicolini's optimal unemployment insurance model," QM&RBC Codes 18, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994.
"Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
- Enrique G. Mendoza & Assaf Razin & Linda L. Tesar, 1995. "Effective Tax Rates in Macroeconomics: Cross-Country Estimates of Tax Rates on Factor Incomes and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hansen, Gary D & Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992.
"The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 118-42, February.
- Gary D. Hansen & Ayse Imrohoroglu, 1990. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," UCLA Economics Working Papers 583, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Hansen, G.D. & Imrohoroglu, A., 1990. "The Role Of Unemployment Insurance In An Economy With Liquidity Constraints And Moral Hazard," Papers 21, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
- Pallage, Stephane & Zimmermann, Christian, 2001. "Voting on Unemployment Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 903-23, November.
- Gayle Allard, 2005. "Measuring The Changing Generosity Of Unemployment Benefits: Beyond Existing Indicators," Working Papers Economia wp05-18, Instituto de Empresa, Area of Economic Environment.
- Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998.
"The European Unemployment Dilemma,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 514-550, June.
- Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 1997. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Working Paper Series 481, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1995. "The European unemployment dilemma," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 1997. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 178, Stockholm School of Economics.
- Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1996. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 36, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
- Pallage, Stephane & Zimmermann, Christian, 2005. "Heterogeneous labor markets and generosity towards the unemployed: an international perspective," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 88-106, March.
- Lyle Scruggs, 2006. "The Generosity of Social Insurance, 1971--2002," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(3), pages 349-364, Autumn.
- Howell David R. & Baker Dean & Glyn Andrew & Schmitt John, 2007. "Are Protective Labor Market Institutions at the Root of Unemployment? A Critical Review of the Evidence," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-73, May.
- Pollak, Andreas, 2013. "Employment Insurance and the Business Cycle," MPRA Paper 49358, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- David R. Howell & Miriam Rehm, 2009.
"Unemployment Compensation and High European Unemployment: A Reassessment with New Benefit Indicators,"
wp201, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
- David R. Howell & Miriam Rehm, 2009. "Unemployment compensation and high European unemployment: a reassessment with new benefit indicators," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 60-93, Spring.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Johanne Perron).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.