How Should Unemployment Benefits Respond to the Business Cycle?
Unemployment insurance programs balance the benefits of consumption smoothing against the disincentive effects of unemployment benefits. This balance is likely sensitive to the cyclical state of the economy, and hence the generosity of benefits should also respond to the business cycle. The nature of such responses in an optimal unemployment insurance (UI) program is analyzed in a simple model. The results suggest that an optimal UI program would increase the initial level of benefits and probably extend higher benefits over time in response to a recessionary shock. In the simple model, an extension of benefits, such as exists automatically in the system in the United States, provides poorer insurance and poorer incentives than the optimal program, and does so at a higher cost. Moreover, the UI system in the U.S. provides a substantially higher level of welfare to workers who lose jobs during tight labor markets.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 3 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.degruyter.com |
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejeap|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Christopher Phelan & Robert M Townsend, 2010.
"Computing Multi-Period, Information Constrained Optima,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
117, David K. Levine.
- Phelan, Christopher & Townsend, Robert M, 1991. "Computing Multi-period, Information-Constrained Optima," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 853-81, October.
- Phelan, C. & Townsend, R.M., 1990. "Computing Multiperiod, Information-Constrained Optima," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-13, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Feldstein, Martin & Poterba, James, 1984.
"Unemployment insurance and reservation wages,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 141-167.
- Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1998.
"Efficient Unemployment Insurance,"
NBER Working Papers
6686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996.
"Optimal Unemployment Insurance,"
RCER Working Papers
421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas Sargent, 1999. "Matlab code for Hopenhayn-Nicolini's optimal unemployment insurance model," QM&RBC Codes 18, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
- Card, David & Levine, Phillip B., 2000.
"Extended benefits and the duration of UI spells: evidence from the New Jersey extended benefit program,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 107-138, October.
- David Card & Phillip B. Levine, 1998. "Extended Benefits and the Duration of UI Spells: Evidence from the New Jersey Extended Benefit Program," NBER Working Papers 6714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979.
"The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-62, December.
- Steven Shavell & Laurence Weiss, 1978. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 503, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Aysegul Sahin, 2002.
"Unemployment insurance and the role of self-insurance,"
0102-27, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
- Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Aysegul Sahin, 2002. "Unemployment Insurance and the Role of Self-Insurance," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(3), pages 681-703, July.
- Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
- Bruce D. Meyer, 1988.
"Unemployment Insurance And Unemployment Spells,"
NBER Working Papers
2546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan Gruber, 1994. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:topics.3:y:2003:i:1:n:9. 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: (Peter Golla)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.