Unemployment insurance/severance payments and informality in developing countries
AbstractWe analyze whether the introduction or an increase of unemployment insurance (UI hereafter) benefits in developing countries reduces the e¤ort made by unemployed workers to secure a new job in the formal sector. We adopt a comparative static approach and we consider the consequences of an increase of current UI benefits on unemployed workers?decision variables in this same period, i.e. we focus on an intra-temporal trade-off, allowing us to assume away moral hazard complications. When there is no informal sector, unemployed workers may devote their time between effort to secure a new job in the formal sector and leisure. In the presence of an informal sector, unemployed workers may also devote time to remunerated informal activities. Consequently, the amount of effort devoted to secure a new (formal) job generates an opportunity cost, which ceteris paribus, reduces the amount of time devoted to remunerated activities in the informal sector. We show that in the presence of an informal sector, an increase of current UI benefits decreases this marginal opportunity cost and therefore unambiguously increases the effort undertaken to secure a new job in the formal sector. This intra-temporal effect is the only one at play in presence of one-shot UI benefits or with severance payments mechanism.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Condorcet Center for political Economy in its series Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS with number 2012-06-ccr.
Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Postal: CREM (UMR CNRS 6211) - Faculty of Economics, 7 place Hoche, 35065 Rennes Cedex - France
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
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