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Job Displacement Insurance and (the Lack of) Consumption-Smoothing

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  • François Gerard
  • Joana Naritomi

Abstract

We study the spending profile of workers who experience both a positive transitory income shock (lump-sum severance pay) and a negative permanent income shock (layoff ). Using de-identified expenditure and employment data from Brazil, we show that workers increase spending at layoff by 35 percent despite experiencing a 14 percent long-term loss. We find high sensitivity of spending to cash-on-hand across consumption categories and for several sources of variation, including predictable income drops. A model with present-biased workers can rationalize our findings, and highlights the importance of the timing of benefit disbursement for the consumption-smoothing gains of job displacement insurance policies.

Suggested Citation

  • François Gerard & Joana Naritomi, 2021. "Job Displacement Insurance and (the Lack of) Consumption-Smoothing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(3), pages 899-942, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:111:y:2021:i:3:p:899-942
    DOI: 10.1257/aer.20190388
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    Cited by:

    1. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Britto, Diogo & Pinotti, Paolo & Sampaio, Breno, 2021. "Job Displacement, Unemployment Benefits and Domestic Violence," IZA Discussion Papers 14543, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Diogo G. C. Britto & Paolo Pinotti & Breno Sampaio, 2022. "The Effect of Job Loss and Unemployment Insurance on Crime in Brazil," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 90(4), pages 1393-1423, July.
    3. Sehnbruch, Kirsten & Carranza Navarrete, Rafael & Contreras Guajardo, Dante, 2022. "Unemployment insurance in transition and developing countries: moral hazard vs. liquidity constraints in Chile," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 115455, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Asenjo, Antonia, & Escudero, Verónica, & Liepmann, Hannah.,, 2022. "Why should we integrate income and employment support? a conceptual and empirical investigation," ILO Working Papers 995195493302676, International Labour Organization.
    5. Zhang, Guangli, 2021. "The Effect of Unemployment Benefit Pay Frequency on UI Claimants' Job Search Behaviors," Working Papers 21-3, Sinquefield Center for Applied Economic Research, Saint Louis University.
    6. Sehnbruch, Kirsten & Carranza, Rafael & Contreras, Dante, 2020. "Unemployment insurance in Chile: lessons from a high inequality developing country," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 107824, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Britto, Diogo & Melo, Caíque & Sampaio, Breno, 2022. "The Kids Aren't Alright: Parental Job Loss and Children's Outcomes within and beyond Schools," IZA Discussion Papers 15591, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Timmons, Shane & Robertson, Deirdre & Lunn, Pete, 2022. "Combining nudges and boosts to increase precautionary saving: A large-scale field experiment," Papers WP722, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    9. Momi Dahan & Udi Nisan, 2020. "Late Payments, Liquidity Constraints and the Mismatch between Due Dates and Paydays," CESifo Working Paper Series 8733, CESifo.
    10. Arash Nekoei, 2022. "Will Markets Provide Humane Jobs? A Hypothesis," CESifo Working Paper Series 9533, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • G51 - Financial Economics - - Household Finance - - - Household Savings, Borrowing, Debt, and Wealth
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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