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Optimal Life Cycle Unemployment Insurance

Author

Listed:
  • Claudio Michelacci
  • Hernán Ruffo

Abstract

We argue that US welfare would rise if unemployment insurance were increased for younger and decreased for older workers. This is because the young tend to lack the means to smooth consumption during unemployment and want jobs to accumulate high-return human capital. So unemployment insurance is most valuable to them, while moral hazard is mild. By calibrating a life cycle model with unemployment risk and endogenous search effort, we find that allowing unemployment replacement rates to decline with age yields sizeable welfare gains to US workers. (JEL D91, E24, J13, J64, J65)

Suggested Citation

  • Claudio Michelacci & Hernán Ruffo, 2015. "Optimal Life Cycle Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(2), pages 816-859, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:2:p:816-59
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20111559
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
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    8. Pontus Rendahl, 2012. "Asset‐Based Unemployment Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(3), pages 743-770, August.
    9. 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.
    10. Steven J. Davis & Till Von Wachter, 2011. "Recessions and the Costs of Job Loss," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(2 (Fall)), pages 1-72.
    11. Robert Shimer & Iván Werning, 2007. "Reservation Wages and Unemployment Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1145-1185.
    12. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok, 2007. "Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Unemployment Insurance from New York State," Working Papers 0708, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    13. Sebastian Koehne & Moritz Kuhn, 2015. "Should unemployment insurance be asset-tested?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 575-592, July.
    14. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2009. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea after All!," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 25-48, March.
    15. Bloemen, Hans G. & Stancanelli, Elena G.F., 2001. "Financial wealth, consumption smoothing, and income shocks due to job loss," Serie Research Memoranda 0036, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    16. Jung, Philip & Kuhn, Moritz, 2012. "Earnings losses and labor mobility over the life-cycle," MPRA Paper 40287, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bennmarker, Helge & Skans, Oskar Nordström & Vikman, Ulrika, 2013. "Workfare for the old and long-term unemployed," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 25-34.
    2. Sebastian Koehne & Moritz Kuhn, 2015. "Should unemployment insurance be asset-tested?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 575-592, July.
    3. Ofer Setty: Tel Aviv University, 2011. "Unemployment Accounts," 2011 Meeting Papers 204, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Cozzi, Marco & Fella, Giulio, 2016. "Job displacement risk and severance pay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 166-181.
    5. Acedański, Jan, 2016. "Youth unemployment and welfare gains from eliminating business cycles — The case of Poland," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 248-262.
    6. Luz Adriana Flórez, 2014. "Optimal Policy with Informal Sector and Endogenous Savings," Borradores de Economia 833, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    7. Javier Fernandez-Blanco, 2017. "Unemployment Risks and Intra-Household Insurance," 2017 Meeting Papers 478, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Campos, Rodolfo G. & Reggio, Iliana, 2014. "Measurement error in imputation procedures," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 197-202.
    9. Daniel Harenberg & Ludwig, Alexander, 2015. "Idiosyncratic Risk, Aggregate Risk, and the Welfare Effects of Social Security," MEA discussion paper series 201403, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    10. Martin Gonzalez-Rozada & Hernan Ruffo, 2014. "The Effects of Unemployment Insurance Under High Informality: Evidence from Argentina," Department of Economics Working Papers wp201403, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
    11. Carolina Fugazza, 2018. "Anatomy of Unemployment Risk," Working papers 048, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    12. Jin, L. & Ziebarth, N.R., 2015. "Sleep and Human Capital: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    13. Lugilde, Alba & Bande, Roberto & Riveiro, Dolores, 2017. "Precautionary Saving: a review of the theory and the evidence," MPRA Paper 77511, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Nicholas Trachter & Hernan Ruffo & Facundo Piguillem, 2012. "Unemployment Insurance in a Life Cycle General Equilibrium Model with Human Capital," 2012 Meeting Papers 1046, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. repec:udt:wpecon:2016-03 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Gonzalez-Rozada, Martin & Ruffo, Hernán, 2016. "Optimal unemployment benefits in the presence of informal labor markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 204-227.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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