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Should unemployment benefits decrease with the unemployment spell?

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  • Cahuc, Pierre
  • Lehmann, Etienne

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate whether unemployment benefits should decrease with the unemployment spell in a model where both job search intensity and wages are endogenous. Wages are set by collective agreements bargained by insiders. It is shown that a more declining time sequence of unemployment benefits leads to wage increases when the tax rate is given. Such an effect may imply an increase in unemployment and counteracts the response of job search intensity that can be found in standard job search models with a given wage distribution. Calibration exercises suggest that it costs twice more in terms of welfare loss for the long-term unemployed workers to reduce the unemployment rate of one percent when wages are endogenous than in the standard job search model.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:77:y:2000:i:1:p:135-153
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Whitta-Jacobsen, Hans Jorgen, 2002. "Duration dependent unemployment benefits in trade union theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1229-1251, July.
    2. Holmlund, Bertil, 1998. " Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 113-141, March.
    3. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen, 1996. "Unemployment insurance with moral hazard in a dynamic economy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-41, June.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Wright, Randall, 1986. "The redistributive roles of unemployment insurance and the dynamics of voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 377-399, December.
    7. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-438, April.
    8. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-132, March.
    9. Atkinson, Anthony B & Micklewright, John, 1991. "Unemployment Compensation and Labor Market Transitions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1679-1727, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H29 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Other
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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