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The Effect of Unemployment Benefits and Nonemployment Durations on Wages

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  • Johannes F. Schmieder
  • Till von Wachter
  • Stefan Bender

Abstract

We estimate that unemployment insurance (UI ) extensions reduce reemployment wages using sharp age discontinuities in UI eligibility in Germany. We show this effect combines two key policy parameters: the effect of UI on reservation wages and the effect of nonemployment durations on wage offers. Our framework implies if UI extensions do not affect wages conditional on duration, then reservation wages do not bind. We derive resulting instrumental variable estimates for the effect of nonemployment durations on wage offers and bounds for reservation wage effects. The effect of UI on wages we find arises mainly from substantial negative nonemployment duration effects. (JEL J31, J64, J65)

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2016. "The Effect of Unemployment Benefits and Nonemployment Durations on Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 739-777, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:3:p:739-77
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20141566
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • 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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