IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v64y1997i3p359-387.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Optimal unemployment insurance

Author

Listed:
  • Davidson, Carl
  • Woodbury, Stephen A.

Abstract

We investigate the design of an optimal Unemployment Insurance program using an equilibrium search and matching model calibrated using data from the reemployment bonus experiments and secondary sources. We examine (a) the optimal potential duration of UI benefits, (b) the optimal UI replacement rate when the potential duration of benefits is optimal, and (c) the optimal UI replacement rate when the potential duration of benefits is sub-optimal. There are three main conclusions. First, insurance considerations suggest that the potential duration of UI benefits would be unlimited under an optimal program. Hence, existing UI programs in the U.S. provide benefits for too short a period of time. Second, if the potential duration to benefits were unlimited, current replacement rates in the U.S., which are in the neighborhood of .5, would probably be about right. Third, with the potential duration of benefits limited to 26 weeks, as in most states during normal times, replacement rates of .5 are too low the optimal replacement rate is 1 if the potential duration of benefits is limited to 32 weeks or less.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Davidson, Carl & Woodbury, Stephen A., 1997. "Optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 359-387, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:64:y:1997:i:3:p:359-387
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047-2727(96)01623-4
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Card & W. Craig Riddell, 1993. "A Comparative Analysis of Unemployment in Canada and the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 149-190 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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 1347-1362, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    5. Davidson, Carl & Woodbury, Stephen A, 1993. "The Displacement Effect of Reemployment Bonus Programs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 575-605, October.
    6. Woodbury, Stephen A & Spiegelman, Robert G, 1987. "Bonuses to Workers and Employers to Reduce Unemployment: Randomized Trials in Illinois," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 513-530, September.
    7. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Peter A. Diamond, 1989. "The Aggregate Matching Function," NBER Working Papers 3175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Card, David & Levine, Phillip B., 1994. "Unemployment insurance taxes and the cyclical and seasonal properties of unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-29, January.
    9. Phillip B. Levine, 1993. "Spillover Effects between the Insured and Uninsured Unemployed," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(1), pages 73-86, October.
    10. Rebecca M. Blank & David E. Card, 1991. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1157-1189.
    11. Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Chapters,in: Labor and Employment Law and Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
    13. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1987. "The Evolution of Unemployment in the United States: 1968 -- 1985," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 11-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Carl Davidson & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1996. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Implications of the Reemployment Bonus Experiments," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Advisory Council on Unemployment Compensation: Background Papers, volume 3, pages KK1-KK37 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    15. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
    16. Chirinko, Robert S, 1982. "An Empirical Investigation of the Returns to Job Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 498-501, June.
    17. Steven Shavell, 1979. "On Moral Hazard and Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 541-562.
    18. Jonathan Gruber, 1994. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
    20. Abraham, Katharine G, 1983. "Structural-Frictional vs. Deficient Demand Unemployment: Some New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 708-724, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:64:y:1997:i:3:p:359-387. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.