IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Monitoring and Sanctions

  • Jan Boone
  • Peter Fredriksson
  • Bertil Holmlund
  • Jan C. van Ours

This article analyses the design of optimal unemployment insurance in a search equilibrium framework where search effort among the unemployed is not perfectly observable. We examine to what extent the optimal policy involves monitoring of search effort and benefit sanctions if observed search is deemed insufficient. We find that introducing monitoring and sanctions represents a welfare improvement for reasonable estimates of monitoring costs; this conclusion holds both relative to a system featuring indefinite payments of benefits and a system with a time limit on unemployment benefit receipt. Copyright 2007 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2007.

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.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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.

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 117 (2007)
Issue (Month): 518 (03)
Pages: 399-421

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:518:p:399-421
Contact details of provider: Postal: Office of the Secretary-General, Rm E35, The Bute Building, Westburn Lane, St Andrews, KY16 9AR, UK
Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

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.:

as in new window
  1. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Wolfram F. Richter & Peter Birch Sørensen, . "Optimal Taxation with Household Production," EPRU Working Paper Series 99-12, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. Niels Fredriksen & Peter Hansen & Henrik Jacobsen & Peter Sørensen, 1995. "Subsidising consumer services: effects on employment, welfare and the informal economy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 71-93, May.
  3. Phelps, Edmund S & Zoega, Gylfi, 1998. "Natural-Rate Theory and OECD Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 782-801, May.
  4. Fredriksson, P. & Holmlund, B., 1998. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Papers 1998-2, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  5. Sandmo, Agnar, 1990. "Tax Distortions and Household Production," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 78-90, January.
  6. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Bertil Holmlund & Ann-Sofie Kolm, 2000. "International Spillover Effects of Sectoral Tax Differentiation in Unionized Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 295, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Boone, Jan & van Ours, Jan C, 2000. "Modelling Financial Incentives To Get Unemployed Back To Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 2361, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Pissarides, Christopher A., 1998. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages; The role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-183, January.
  10. Sacklén, Hans, 2002. "An evaluation of the Swedish trainee replacement schemes," Working Paper Series 2002:7, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  11. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 1999. "Is the Threat of Training More Effective Than Training Itself? Experimental Evidence from the UI System," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9913, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  12. Lars Calmfors & Anders Forslund & Maria Hemström, 2002. "Does Active Labour Market Policy Work? Lessons from the Swedish Experiences," CESifo Working Paper Series 675, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  14. Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw & Jan C. van Ours, 1998. "Punitive Sanctions and the Transition Rate from Welfare to Work," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-076/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  15. Broersma, L. & van Ours, J.C., 1998. "Job Searchers, Job Matches and the Elasticity of Matching," Discussion Paper 1998-72, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  16. Holmlund, B., 2000. "Labor Taxation in Search Equilibrium with Home Production," Papers 2000:1, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  17. Skedinger, Per, 2006. "Minimum wages and employment in Swedish hotels and restaurants," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 259-290, April.
  18. Boone, Jan & Bovenberg, A Lans, 2001. "Optimal Labour Taxation and Search," CEPR Discussion Papers 3002, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Abbring, Jaap H. & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2002. "Dynamically assigned treatments: duration models, binary treatment models, and panel data models," Working Paper Series 2002:20, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  20. Kolm, Ann-Sofie, 1998. "Differentiated payroll taxes, unemployment, and welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 255-271, November.
  21. Broström, Göran & Palme, Mårten & Johansson, Per, 2002. "Economic incentives and gender differences in work absence behavior," Working Paper Series 2002:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  22. Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France & van den Berg, Gerard, 2002. "An econometric analysis of the mental-health effects of major events in the life of older individuals," Working Paper Series 2002:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  23. P. B. Sørensen, 1997. "Public finance solutions to the European unemployment problem?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 12(25), pages 221-264, October.
  24. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  25. Kolm, A.-S., 1998. "Labour Taxation in a Unionised Economy with Home Production," Papers 1998-7, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  26. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1999. "Optimal tax progressivity in imperfect labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 435-452, September.
  28. van den Berg, G. & van der Klaauw, B. & van Ours, J.C., 1998. "Punitive sanctions and the transition from welfare to work," Discussion Paper 1998-56, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  29. 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.
  30. Berg, Gerard J. van den & Klaauw, Bas van der & Ours, Jan C. van, 1998. "Punitive sanctions and the transition rate from welfare to work," Serie Research Memoranda 0033, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  31. Flemming, J. S., 1978. "Aspects of optimal unemployment insurance : Search, leisure, savings and capital market imperfections," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 403-425, December.
  32. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  33. Johansson, Per & Palme, Mårten, 2001. "Assessing the effect of public policy on worker absenteeism," Working Paper Series 2002:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  34. Hian Hoon, 1996. "Payroll taxes and VAT in a labor-turnover model of the ‘natural rate’," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 369-383, July.
  35. Skans, Oskar Nordstrom, 2005. "Age effects in Swedish local labor markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 419-426, March.
  36. van Ours, J.C. & Broersma, L., 1999. "Job searchers, job matches and the elasticity of matching," Other publications TiSEM c199f354-b73c-49b6-84f6-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  37. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2002. "Taxes, Subsidies and Equilibrium Labor Market Outcomes," CEP Discussion Papers dp0519, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  38. Johansson, Kerstin, 2002. "Labor market programs, the discouraged-worker effect, and labor force participation," Working Paper Series 2002:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  39. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
  40. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. Berg & Jan C. Ours, 2005. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions on the Transition Rate from Unemployment to Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 602-630, 07.
  41. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  42. Eriksson, Stefan, 2002. "Imperfect information, wage formation, and the employability of the unemployed," Working Paper Series 2002:17, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  43. Cahuc, Pierre & Lehmann, Etienne, 2000. "Should unemployment benefits decrease with the unemployment spell?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 135-153, July.
  44. Bovenberg, A Lans & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1998. " Tax Reform, Structural Unemployment and the Environment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(3), pages 593-610, September.
  45. Hoon, Hian Teck & Phelps, Edmund S., 1997. "Growth, wealth and the natural rate: Is Europe's jobs crisis a growth crisis?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 549-557, April.
  46. repec:rus:hseeco:10108 is not listed on IDEAS
  47. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
  48. Corrado Benassi & Antonello E. Scorcu, 2003. "Indexation Rules, Risk Aversion and Imperfect Information," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(3), pages 330-340, 06.
  49. Johansson, Kerstin, 2002. "Labor Market Programs, the Discouraged-Worker Effect, and Labor Force Participation," Working Paper Series 2002:16, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  50. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. " The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-95, September.
  51. Terry R. Johnson & Daniel H. Klepinger, 1994. "Experimental Evidence on Unemployment Insurance Work-Search Policies," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 665-717.
  52. Polinsky, Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1979. "The Optimal Tradeoff between the Probability and Magnitude of Fines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 880-91, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:518:p:399-421. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.