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Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard: Quanitative Implications for Unemployment Insurance

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  • David Fuller

    (University of Iowa)

Abstract

I construct a dynamic contracting model of optimal unemployment insurance with adverse selection and moral hazard. The interaction of the two informational frictions generates novel qualitative and quantitative implications for the provision of unemployment insurance. Qualitatively, for certain agents, incentives in the optimal contract imply expected consumption may actually increase over the duration of unemployment. Quantitatively, the optimal contract reduces costs by over 100%, relative to a stylized version of the current U.S. unemployment insurance system. Compared to a planner who ignores adverse selection and focuses only on moral hazard, the optimal contract achieves an additional 47% of cost savings. Of the extra savings, around 3.2% arises from improved incentives to exert effort, leading to higher expected output. A more efficient allocation of consumption explains the remaining portion of the additional cost savings.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2008 Meeting Papers with number 889.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:889

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  1. Marcus Hagedorn & Ashok Kaul & Tim Mennel, 2007. "An Adverse Selection Model of Optimal Unemployment Insurance," IEW - Working Papers 315, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Narayana Kocherlakota, 2010. "Figuring out the impact of hidden savings on optimal unemployment insuranc," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000291, David K. Levine.
  3. Nicola Pavoni, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance, With Human Capital Depreciation, And Duration Dependence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 323-362, 05.
  4. Robert Shimer & Ivan Werning, 2008. "Liquidity and Insurance for the Unemployed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1922-42, December.
  5. Pietro Garibaldi & Etienne Wasmer, 2005. "Equilibrium Search Unemployment, Endogenous Participation, And Labor Market Flows," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 851-882, 06.
  6. Gautier, Pieter A & Moraga-González, José-Luis & Wolthoff, Ronald, 2007. "Structural Estimation of Search Intensity: Do Non-Employed Workers Search Enough?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6440, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
  8. Mitchell, Matthew & Zhang, Yuzhe, 2010. "Unemployment Insurance with Hidden Savings," MPRA Paper 23214, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen D., 2002. "Moral hazard, optimal unemployment insurance, and experience rating," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1337-1371, October.
  10. Andolfatto, David & Gomme, Paul, 1996. "Unemployment insurance and labor-market activity in Canada," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 47-82, June.
  11. Pavoni, Nicola, 2007. "On optimal unemployment compensation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1612-1630, September.
  12. Robert Shimer & Iván Werning, 2006. "On the Optimal Timing of Benefits with Heterogeneous Workers and Human Capital Depreciation," NBER Working Papers 12230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Bryan Engelhardt & David L. Fuller, 2009. "Efficient Labor Force Participation with Search and Bargaining," Working Papers 0909, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2009.
  14. Carl Davidson & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1997. "The Optimal Dole with Risk Aversion, Job Destruction, and Worker Heterogeneity," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 97-47, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  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. Pries, Michael & Rogerson, Richard, 2009. "Search frictions and labor market participation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 568-587, July.
  17. 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.
  18. Hugo A. Hopenhayn & Juan Pablo Nicolini, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance and Employment History," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1049-1070.
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