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The Effectiveness of Employment Vouchers: A Simple Approach

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  • J. Michael Orszag
  • Dennis J. Shower

Abstract

This paper explores the optimal design of subsidies for hiring unemployed workers ('employment vouchers' for short) in the context of a simple dynamic model of the labour market. Focusing on the short-term and long-term effects of the vouchers on employment and unemployment, the analysis shows how the optimal policy depends on the rates of hiring and firing, and on the problems of displacement and deadweight. It also examines the roles of the government budget constraint and of the level of unemployment benefits in optimal policy design. We calibrate the model and evaluate the effectiveness of employment vouchers in reducing unemployment for a wide range of feasible parameters. Copyright Verein fü Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2000.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Michael Orszag & Dennis J. Shower, 2000. "The Effectiveness of Employment Vouchers: A Simple Approach," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(4), pages 385-419, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:1:y:2000:i:4:p:385-419
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    2. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    3. Woodbury, Stephen A & Spiegelman, Robert G, 1987. "Bonuses to Workers and Employers to Reduce Unemployment: Randomized Trials in Illinois," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 513-530, September.
    4. Snower, Dennis J, 1994. "Converting Unemployment Benefits into Employment Subsidies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 65-70, May.
    5. Hian Hoon, 1996. "Payroll taxes and VAT in a labor-turnover model of the ‘natural rate’," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(3), pages 369-383, July.
    6. Hoon, Hian Teck & Phelps, Edmund S, 1992. "Macroeconomic Shocks in a Dynamized Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 889-900, September.
    7. Harry J. Holzer & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "Job Queues and Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 739-768.
    8. Burgess, Simon & Pacelli, Lia & Rees, Hedley, 1997. "Job Tenure and Labour Market Regulation: A Comparison of Britain and Italy using Micro Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 1712, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adam, Antonis & Moutos, Thomas, 2011. "A politico-economic analysis of minimum wages and wage subsidies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 171-173, March.
    2. Brown, Alessio J.G. & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2011. "Comparing the effectiveness of employment subsidies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 168-179, April.
    3. Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2006. "Marginal Employment Subsidization: A New Concept and a Reappraisal," CESifo Working Paper Series 1707, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Brown, Alessio J.G. & Orszag, J. Michael & Snower, Dennis J., 2008. "Unemployment accounts and employment incentives," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 587-604, September.
    5. Berthold, Norbert & von Berchem, Sascha, 2003. "Die Sozialhilfe zwischen Effizienz und Gerechtigkeit: wie kann der Spagat gelingen?," Discussion Paper Series 62, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    6. Fehn, Rainer, 2002. "Arbeitsmarktflexibilisierung und Arbeitslosigkeit," Discussion Paper Series 54, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    7. Michael Lechner, 2002. "Eine wirkungsorientierte aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland und der Schweiz: Eine Vision - zwei Realitäten," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(2), pages 159-174, May.
    8. Orszag, J. Michael & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "Incapacity benefits and employment policy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 631-641, November.

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