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Optimal Unemployment Insurance for Older Workers

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  • Jean-Olivier Hairault
  • François Langot
  • Sébastien Menard
  • Thepthida Sopraseuth

Abstract

This paper studies the optimal unemployment insurance for older workers in a repeated principal–agent model, where the search intensity of risk-averse workers (the agents) is not observed by the risk-neutral insurance agency (the principal). When unemployment benefits are the only available tool, the insurance agency is not able to induce older workers to search for a job. This is because of the short time-horizon of workers close to retirement. We propose to introduce a pension tax dependent on the length of the unemployment spell. We show that this device performs better than a wage tax after re-employment. First, it makes jobs more attractive, as they are free of tax. Second, because re-employment will be short-lived, a pension tax is a more powerful incentive than a wage tax, and provides more substantial fiscal gains to the agency. Finally, a pension tax allows those workers near retirement who still do not exercise job search to smooth their consumption during their unemployment spell, as if they could borrow against their future pension.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by TEPP in its series TEPP Working Paper with number 2012-07.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:tep:teppwp:wp12-07

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Guido Menzio & Irina A. Telyukova & Ludo Visschers, 2012. "Directed Search over the Life Cycle," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-002, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Phelan, C. & Townsend, R.M., 1990. "Computing Multiperiod, Information-Constrained Optima," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-13, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  4. Jean-Olivier Hairault & François Langot & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2010. "Distance to Retirement and The Job Search of Older Workers: The Case For Delaying Retirement Age," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00517107, HAL.
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  18. Seater, John J., 1977. "A unified model of consumption, labor supply, and job search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 349-372, April.
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  25. 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.
  26. Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2010. "Distance to Retirement and Older Workers' Employment: The Case for Delaying the Retirement Age," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1034-1076, 09.
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Cited by:
  1. J. Ignacio García Pérez & Alfonso R. Sánchez Mártin, 2012. "Fostering job search among older workers: the case for pension reform," Working Papers 12.09, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  2. Hairault, Jean-Olivier, 2012. "Pour l’emploi des seniors — Assurance chômage et licenciements," Opuscules du CEPREMAP, CEPREMAP, number 28, May.
  3. Parsons, Donald O., 2014. "Job Displacement Insurance: An Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 8223, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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