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Lessons from the U.S. Unemployment Insurance Experiments

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  • Bruce D. Meyer

Abstract

Recent social experiments have evaluated two reforms of the unemployment insurance (UI) system: reemployment bonuses and job search programs. The bonus experiments show that economic incentives affect the length of UI receipt and provide weak evidence that an earlier return to work does not decrease earnings. The experiments do not show the favorability of a permanent bonus program as they ignore its effect on the number of the claimants. The job search experiments test several more promising reforms. Nearly all of the combinations of services and increased enforcement reduce UI receipt and have favorable cost/benefit analyses. Earnings often increase, though the estimates are imprecise.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce D. Meyer, 1995. "Lessons from the U.S. Unemployment Insurance Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 91-131, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:33:y:1995:i:1:p:91-131
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