Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Pro-cyclical Unemployment Benefits? Optimal Policy in an Equilibrium Business Cycle Model

Contents:

Author Info

  • Stanislav Rabinovich

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Kurt Mitman

    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

We study the optimal provision of unemployment insurance (UI) over the business cycle. We consider an equilibrium Mortensen-Pissarides search and matching model with risk-averse workers and aggregate shocks to labor productivity. Both the vacancy creation decisions of firms and the search effort decisions of workers respond endogenously to aggregate shocks as well as to changes in UI policy. We characterize the optimal history-dependent UI policy. We find that, all else equal, the optimal benefit is decreasing in current productivity and decreasing in current unemployment. Optimal benefits are therefore lowest when current productivity is high and current unemployment is high. The optimal path of benefits reacts non-monotonically to a productivity shock. Following a drop in productivity, benefits initially rise in order to provide short-run relief to the unemployed and stabilize wages, but then fall significantly below their pre-recession level, in order to speed up the subsequent recovery. Under the optimal policy, the path of benefits is pro-cyclical overall. As compared to the existing US UI system, the optimal history-dependent benefits smooth cyclical fluctuations in unemployment and deliver non-negligible welfare gains.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2011/paper_1247.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 1247.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:1247

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Email:
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
  2. Lehmann, Etienne & Van der Linden, Bruno, 2004. "On the Optimality of Search Matching Equilibrium When Workers Are Risk Averse," IZA Discussion Papers 1172, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Makoto Nakajima, 2011. "Quantitative Analysis of Unemployment Benefit Extensions," 2011 Meeting Papers 328, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. 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.
  5. Sanchez, Juan M., 2006. "Optimal State-Contingent Unemployment Insurance," MPRA Paper 2535, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Torben M. Andersen & Michael Svarer, 2010. "Business Cycle Dependent Unemployment Insurance," Economics Working Papers 2010-16, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  7. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance Over the Business Cycle," CEP Discussion Papers dp1078, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. 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.
  9. Robert Shimer & Ivan Werning, 2005. "Liquidity and Insurance for the Unemployed," NBER Working Papers 11689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Simon Burgess & Helene Turon, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies – A Comment," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 05/573, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  12. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  13. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
  14. Fredriksson, P. & Holmlund, B., 1998. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Papers 1998-2, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  15. Michael T. Kiley, 2003. "How should unemployment benefits respond to the business cycle?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-01, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Feldstein, Martin & Poterba, James, 1984. "Unemployment insurance and reservation wages," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 141-167.
  17. 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.
  18. Fishe, Raymond P H, 1982. "Unemployment Insurance and the Reservation Wage of the Unemployed," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 12-17, February.
  19. Melvyn Coles & Adrian Masters, 2006. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in a Matching Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 109-138, January.
  20. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  21. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  22. Cahuc, Pierre & Lehmann, Etienne, 2000. "Should unemployment benefits decrease with the unemployment spell?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 135-153, July.
  23. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Pro-Cyclical Unemployment Benefits? Optimal Policy in an Equilibrium Business Cycle Model
    by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2011-05-15 14:18:51
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Keith Kuester & Philip Jung, 2012. "Optimal Labor-Market Policy in Recessions," 2012 Meeting Papers 186, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Ek Spector, Susanne, 2012. "Unemployment Benefits or Taxes: How Should Policy Makers Redistribute Income over the Business Cycle?," IZA Discussion Papers 6308, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Stanislav Rabinovich & Kurt Mitman, 2012. "Unemployment Benefits Caused Jobless Recoveries!?," 2012 Meeting Papers 1112, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Pollak, Andreas, 2013. "Employment Insurance and the Business Cycle," MPRA Paper 49358, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Tatsiramos, Konstantinos & van Ours, Jan C., 2012. "Labor Market Effects of Unemployment Insurance Design," IZA Discussion Papers 6950, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Julien Albertini & Arthur Poirier, 2014. "Unemployment benefits extensions at the zero lower bound on nominal interest rate," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2014-019, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  7. David L. Fuller & Marianna Kudlyak & Damba Lkhagvasuren, 2013. "Productivity insurance: the role of unemployment benefits in a multi-sector model," Working Paper 13-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  8. 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.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed011:1247. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.