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Optimal Labor-Market Policy in Recessions

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  • Jung, Philip
  • Kuester, Keith

Abstract

We examine the optimal labor market-policy mix over the business cycle. In a search and matching model with risk-averse workers, endogenous hiring and separation, and unobservable search effort we first show how to decentralize the constrained-efficient allocation. This can be achieved by a combination of a production tax and three labor-market policy instruments, namely, a vacancy subsidy, a layoff tax and unemployment benefits. We derive analytical expressions for the optimal setting of each of these for the steady state and for the business cycle. Our propositions suggest that hiring subsidies, layoff taxes and the replacement rate of unemployment insurance should all rise in recessions. We find this confirmed in a calibration targeted to the U.S. economy.

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Paper provided by University of Mannheim, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 11-1.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:mnh:wpaper:29630

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Keywords: unemployment ; search and matching ; endogenous separations;

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References

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  1. Hagedorn, Marcus & Manovskii, Iourii, 2008. "The cyclical behavior of equilibrium unemployment and vacancies revisited," Working Paper Series 0853, European Central Bank.
  2. Cahuc, Pierre & Zylberberg, André, 2008. "Optimum income taxation and layoff taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2003-2019, October.
  3. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 16526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Haefke, Christian & Sonntag, Marcus & van Rens, Thijs, 2013. "Wage rigidity and job creation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 887-899.
  5. Christopher Pissarides, 2007. "The unemployment volatility puzzle: is wage stickiness the answer?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4460, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Kurt Mitman & Stanislav Rabinovich, 2011. "Pro-cyclical Unemployment Benefits? Optimal Policy in an Equilibrium Business Cycle Model," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-023, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. 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.
  8. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Blanchard, Olivier & Tirole, Jean, 2006. "The Joint Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection: A First Pass," IDEI Working Papers 258, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  10. Silva, José Ignacio & Toledo, Manuel, 2009. "Labor Turnover Costs And The Cyclical Behavior Of Vacancies And Unemployment," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(S1), pages 76-96, May.
  11. David Domeij, 2005. "Optimal Capital Taxation and Labor Market Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 623-650, July.
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  13. Engen, Eric M. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 545-579, June.
  14. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 6275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  17. Akerlof, George A & Miyazaki, Hajime, 1980. "The Implicit Contract Theory of Unemployment Meets the Wage Bill Argument," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 321-38, January.
  18. Barnichon, Regis, 2010. "Building a composite Help-Wanted Index," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 175-178, December.
  19. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  20. Coles, Melvyn, 2008. "Optimal unemployment policy in a matching equilibrium," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 537-559, August.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Optimal labor-market policy in recessions
    by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2011-12-22 04:19:47
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Cited by:
  1. l’Haridon, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck & Pérez-Duarte, Sébastien, 2011. "Does bargaining matter in the small firm's matching model?," Working Paper Series 1359, European Central Bank.
  2. Cahuc, Pierre, 2014. "Search, Flows, Job Creations and Destructions," IZA Discussion Papers 8173, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Pollak, Andreas, 2013. "Employment Insurance and the Business Cycle," MPRA Paper 49358, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Mark Strøm Kristoffersen, 2012. "Business Cycle Dependent Unemployment Benefits with Wealth Heterogeneity and Precautionary Savings," Economics Working Papers 2012-19, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.

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