Does the sophistication of use of unemployment insurance evolve with experience?
The subject of this paper is the repeat use of UI/EI benefits in Canada. The first objective is to investigate empirically the pattern of adjustment that UI users exhibit over a multiple claim horizon. Our secondary objective is to investigate a behavioural channel that might potentially underlie observed adjustment effects, namely, individual learning effects. We estimate an econometric model of how certain features of their claims change as they file subsequent claims. We find strong empirical patterns suggesting that there does appear to be some sort of an adjustment process; beneficiaries tend to approach a desired value for these particular facets of their UI claims. There appears to be some process of growing sophistication of UI use - which some might label `gaming the system' - reflecting the adjustment of claims and the concomitant employment patterns to the provisions and rules of the regime. We also uncover evidence in favour of the existence of individual learning effects.
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Volume (Year): 45 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
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