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An adverse selection model of optimal unemployment insurance

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  • Hagedorn, Marcus
  • Kaul, Ashok
  • Mennel, Tim

Abstract

We ask whether offering a menu of unemployment insurance contracts is welfare-improving in a heterogeneous population. We adopt a repeated moral hazard framework as in Shavell and Weiss (1979), supplemented by unobserved heterogeneity about agents' job opportunities. Our main theoretical contribution is a quasi-recursive formulation of our adverse selection problem, including a geometric characterization of the state space. Our main economic result is that optimal contracts for "bad" searchers tend to be upward-sloping due to an adverse selection effect. This is in contrast to the well-known optimal decreasing time profile of benefits in pure moral hazard environments that continue to be optimal for "good" searchers in our model.

Suggested Citation

  • Hagedorn, Marcus & Kaul, Ashok & Mennel, Tim, 2010. "An adverse selection model of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 490-502, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:34:y:2010:i:3:p:490-502
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    1. Rasmus Lentz, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in an Estimated Job Search Model with Savings," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 37-57, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hagedorn, Marcus & Kaul, Ashok & Mennel, Tim, 2010. "An adverse selection model of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 490-502, March.
    2. Fuller, David L., 2014. "Adverse selection and moral hazard: Quantitative implications for unemployment insurance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 108-122.
    3. Andreas Pollak, 2008. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Variable Skill Levels," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(4), pages 696-726, December.
    4. O'Flaherty, Brendan, 2009. "When should homeless families get subsidized apartments? A theoretical inquiry," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 69-80, June.
    5. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Langot, François & Ménard, Sébastien & Sopraseuth, Thepthida, 2012. "Optimal unemployment insurance for older workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 509-519.
    6. Arpad Abraham & Nicola Pavoni, 2008. "Efficient Allocations with Moral Hazard and Hidden Borrowing and Lending: A Recursive Formulation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 781-803, October.
    7. Anne Bucher & Sébastien Ménard, 2010. "Employment Protection Legislation and Adverse Selection at the Labor Market Entry," TEPP Working Paper 2010-21, TEPP.
    8. Anne Bucher & Sébastien Ménard, 2015. "The effects of firing costs on the wage contracts under adverse selection," Working Papers of BETA 2015-17, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment insurance Recursive contracts Adverse selection Repeated moral hazard;

    JEL classification:

    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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