IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejpol/v10y2018i2p152-81.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Macroeconomic Approach to Optimal Unemployment Insurance: Theory

Author

Listed:
  • Camille Landais
  • Pascal Michaillat
  • Emmanuel Saez

Abstract

This paper develops a theory of optimal unemployment insurance (UI) in matching models. The optimal UI replacement rate is the conventional Baily-Chetty replacement rate, which solves the tradeoff between insurance and job-search incentives, plus a correction term, which is positive when an increase in UI pushes the labor market tightness toward its efficient level. In matching models, most wage mechanisms do not ensure efficiency, so tightness is generally inefficient. The effect of UI on tightness depends on the model: increasing UI may raise tightness by alleviating the rat race for jobs or lower tightness by increasing wages through bargaining.

Suggested Citation

  • Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2018. "A Macroeconomic Approach to Optimal Unemployment Insurance: Theory," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 152-181, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:152-81
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150088
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/doi/10.1257/pol.20150088
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=qQqH84ky-hrXzGmN7k5oShfeDNavDyJY
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, December.
    2. Pascal Michaillat, 2012. "Do Matching Frictions Explain Unemployment? Not in Bad Times," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1721-1750, June.
    3. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    4. John F. Helliwell & Haifang Huang, 2014. "New Measures Of The Costs Of Unemployment: Evidence From The Subjective Well-Being Of 3.3 Million Americans," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(4), pages 1485-1502, October.
    5. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2015. "The Optimal Use of Government Purchases for Stabilization," NBER Working Papers 21322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2005. "Consumption versus Expenditure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 919-948, October.
    7. Krueger, Alan B. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2002. "Labor supply effects of social insurance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 33, pages 2327-2392, Elsevier.
    8. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
    9. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
    10. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    11. Toshihiko Mukoyama & Christina Patterson & Ayşegül Şahin, 2018. "Job Search Behavior over the Business Cycle," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 190-215, January.
    12. Theodossiou, I., 1998. "The effects of low-pay and unemployment on psychological well-being: A logistic regression approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 85-104, January.
    13. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    14. Rafael Lalive & Camille Landais & Josef Zweimüller, 2015. "Market Externalities of Large Unemployment Insurance Extension Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(12), pages 3564-3596, December.
    15. Stephen DeLoach & Mark Kurt, 2013. "Discouraging Workers: Estimating the Impacts of Macroeconomic Shocks on the Search Intensity of the Unemployed," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 433-454, December.
    16. Michaillat, Pascal & Saez, Emmanuel, 2015. "The optimal use of government purchases for macroeconomic stabilization," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 87160, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Silva, José Ignacio & Toledo, Manuel, 2009. "Labor Turnover Costs And The Cyclical Behavior Of Vacancies And Unemployment," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(S1), pages 76-96, May.
    18. repec:hrv:faseco:34330197 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Andrew C. Johnston & Alexandre Mas, 2018. "Potential Unemployment Insurance Duration and Labor Supply: The Individual and Market-Level Response to a Benefit Cut," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(6), pages 2480-2522.
    20. Daniel Sullivan & Till von Wachter, 2009. "Job Displacement and Mortality: An Analysis Using Administrative Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1265-1306.
    21. Bemjamin Villena-Roldan, 2009. "Aggregate Implications of Employer Search and Recruiting Selection," 2009 Meeting Papers 97, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    22. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
    23. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
    24. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
    25. William A. Darity & Arthur H. Goldsmith, 1996. "Social Psychology, Unemployment and Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 121-140, Winter.
    26. Gomme, Paul & Lkhagvasuren, Damba, 2015. "Worker search effort as an amplification mechanism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 106-122.
    27. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
    28. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2018. "A Macroeconomic Approach to Optimal Unemployment Insurance: Applications," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 182-216, May.
    2. Fredriksson, Peter & Söderström, Martin, 2020. "The equilibrium impact of unemployment insurance on unemployment: Evidence from a non-linear policy rule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
    3. Landais, Camille & Michaillat, Pascal & Saez, Emmanuel, 2010. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 8132, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Krebs, Tom & Scheffel, Martin, 2016. "Labor Market Institutions and the Cost of Recessions," IZA Discussion Papers 10442, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Kory Kroft & Kavan Kucko & Etienne Lehmann & Johannes Schmieder, 2020. "Optimal Income Taxation with Unemployment and Wage Responses: A Sufficient Statistics Approach," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 254-292, February.
    6. Michaillat, Pascal, 2011. "Fiscal Multipliers Over the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 8610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Kohlbrecher, Britta, 2016. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Rigid Wages and Decreasing Returns," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145867, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. M Alper Çenesiz & Luís Guimarães, 2022. "The cyclicality of job search effort in matching models [Labor supply in the past, present, and future: a Balan ced-Growth perspective]," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1195-1213.
    9. Michaillat, Pascal, 2012. "A Theory of Countercyclical Government-Consumption Multiplier," CEPR Discussion Papers 9052, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Reichling, Felix, 2006. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Labor Market Equilibrium when Workers can Self-Insure," MPRA Paper 5362, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Oct 2007.
    11. Mitman, Kurt & Rabinovich, Stanislav, 2015. "Optimal unemployment insurance in an equilibrium business-cycle model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 99-118.
    12. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "A Macroeconomic Theory of Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 16526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Rogerson, Richard & Shimer, Robert, 2011. "Search in Macroeconomic Models of the Labor Market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 7, pages Pages: 61, Elsevier.
    14. Kohlbrecher, Britta, 2019. "The (ir)relevance of real wage rigidity for optimal monetary policy," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 07/2019, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    15. Suppa, Nicolai, 2021. "Unemployment and subjective well-being," GLO Discussion Paper Series 760, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    16. Petrosky-Nadeau, Nicolas & Wasmer, Etienne, 2015. "Macroeconomic dynamics in a model of goods, labor, and credit market frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 97-113.
    17. Matthias S. Hertweck & Vivien Lewis & Stefania Villa, 2021. "Going the Extra Mile: Effort by Workers and Job‐Seekers," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 53(8), pages 2099-2127, December.
    18. repec:hal:wpspec:info:hdl:2441/1787nsa6d1927a90u4bkkombn4 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Koenig, Felix & Manning, Alan & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2014. "Reservation wages and the wage flexibility puzzle," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60613, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    20. Jonas Kolsrud & Camille Landais & Peter Nilsson & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2015. "The Optimal Timing of UI Benefits: Theory and Evidence from Sweden," CEP Discussion Papers dp1361, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    21. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2015. "Aggregate Demand, Idle Time, and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(2), pages 507-569.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • 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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:152-81. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.