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Integration of unemployment insurance with retirement insurance

  • Stiglitz, Joseph E.
  • Yun, Jungyoll

This paper analyzes a social insurance system that integrates unemployment insurance with a pension program through an individual account, allowing workers to borrow against their future wage income to finance consumption during an unemployment episode and thus improving their search incentives while reducing risks. This paper identifies factors which determine the optimal degree of integration. A fully integrated system is one in which no reliance is placed at all on a separate tax-funded unemployment insurance program. We show that when the duration of unemployment is very short compared to the period of employment or retirement, the optimal system involves an exclusive reliance on pension-funded self-insurance. This system imposes a negligible risk burden for workers while avoiding attenuating search incentives. We also argue that a joint integration of several social insurance programs with a pension program through an individual account is desirable unless the risks are perfectly correlated to each other.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 89 (2005)
Issue (Month): 11-12 (December)
Pages: 2037-2067

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:89:y:2005:i:11-12:p:2037-2067
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Hansen, Gary D & Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 118-42, February.
  2. Rasmus Lentz & Torben Tranaes, 2001. "Job Search and Savings: Wealth Effects and Duration Dependence," CESifo Working Paper Series 461, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Would Privatizing Social Security Raise Economic Welfare?," NBER Working Papers 5281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Narayana Kocherlakota, 2010. "Figuring out the impact of hidden savings on optimal unemployment insuranc," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000291, David K. Levine.
  5. Richard Arnott & Bruce Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1993. "Information and Economic Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 4533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Martin Feldstein & Daniel Altman, 2007. "Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 21, pages 35-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1982. "Social Insurance and Consumption: An Empirical Inquiry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 101-13, March.
  8. Arnott, Richard J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1988. " The Basic Analytics of Moral Hazard," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(3), pages 383-413.
  9. 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 1347-62, December.
  10. Arnott, Richard J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1985. "Labor Turnover, Wage Structures, and Moral Hazard: The Inefficiency of Competitive Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 434-62, October.
  11. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
  12. James Costain, 1997. "Unemployment insurance with endogenous search intensity and precautionary saving," Economics Working Papers 243, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  13. Richard Arnott & Joseph Stiglitz, 1990. "The Welfare Economics of Moral Hazard," NBER Working Papers 3316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 229-64, May.
  15. 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.
  16. Joseph Stiglitz, 1999. "Taxation, Public Policy, and Dynamics of Unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 239-262, August.
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