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Unemployment insurance take-up rates in an equilibrium search model

Author

Listed:
  • Auray, Stéphane
  • Fuller, David L.
  • Lkhagvasuren, Damba

Abstract

From 1989 to 2012, on average, 23% of those eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in the US did not collect them. To understand the implications of these “unclaimed” benefits, we develop a directed search model with an endogenous UI take-up rate. In equilibrium, UI collectors have longer unemployment durations relative to non-collectors. The difference results from two forces, a consumption effect and a private information effect, as UI collection histories are unobservable. We characterize both effects analytically and quantitatively. With an endogenous take-up rate, the unemployment rate and average duration of unemployment respond significantly slower to changes in the UI benefit level, relative to the standard model with a 100% take-up rate. The private information effect on non-collector job finding rates plays an important role in this result.

Suggested Citation

  • Auray, Stéphane & Fuller, David L. & Lkhagvasuren, Damba, 2019. "Unemployment insurance take-up rates in an equilibrium search model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:112:y:2019:i:c:p:1-31
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2018.11.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nakajima, Makoto, 2012. "A quantitative analysis of unemployment benefit extensions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 686-702.
    2. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2001. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 370-399, April.
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    10. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen D., 2002. "Moral hazard, optimal unemployment insurance, and experience rating," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1337-1371, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Serdar Birinci & Kurt Gerrard See, 2018. "How Should Unemployment Insurance vary over the Business Cycle?," 2018 Meeting Papers 69, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen D., 2002. "Moral hazard, optimal unemployment insurance, and experience rating," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1337-1371, October.
    3. Minjoon Lee & Jinhui Bai & Fudong Zhang & Ruediger Bachmann, 2014. "The Welfare Costs of Fiscal Uncertainty: a Quantitative Evaluation," 2014 Meeting Papers 744, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:eee:labeco:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:183-197 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment insurance; Take-up; Calibration; Matching frictions; Search;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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