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Takeup, social multipliers and optimal social insurance

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  • Kroft, Kory

Abstract

This paper examines the optimal provision of unemployment insurance (UI) in a framework that accounts for behavioral responses along both the intensive and extensive margins. Two formulations of takeup are considered: in the first, individuals face a takeup cost that is exogenous; in the second, the cost depends endogenously on the takeup rate. Such endogenous costs to takeup lead to a social multiplier, a reduced-form parameter summarizing the strength of social interactions. This paper derives a formula for the optimal replacement rate in terms of the takeup and duration elasticities, and the social multiplier. The formula is applied by estimating the social multiplier using policy variation in UI benefit levels. The results suggest that social multiplier effects account for 35% of the total effect of UI on takeup and yield an optimal replacement rate around 60% of pre-unemployment wages, 20% higher than previous estimates.

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  • Kroft, Kory, 2008. "Takeup, social multipliers and optimal social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 722-737, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:3-4:p:722-737
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    Cited by:

    1. Kory Kroft & Kavan Kucko & Etienne Lehmann & Johannes Schmieder, 2020. "Optimal Income Taxation with Unemployment and Wage Responses: A Sufficient Statistics Approach," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 254-292, February.
    2. Mari Rege & Kjetil Telle & Mark Votruba, 2012. "Social Interaction Effects in Disability Pension Participation: Evidence from Plant Downsizing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1208-1239, December.
    3. David E. Card & David S. Lee & Zhuan Pei & Andrea Weber, 2012. "Nonlinear Policy Rules and the Identification and Estimation of Causal Effects in a Generalized Regression Kink Design," NRN working papers 2012-14, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    4. Meyer, Bruce D. & Mok, Wallace K.C., 2019. "Disability, earnings, income and consumption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 51-69.
    5. Hamamura, Jumpei & Kurita, Kenichi, 2021. "Does stigma against tax avoidance improve social welfare?," MPRA Paper 107173, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Kory Kroft & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2016. "Should Unemployment Insurance Vary with the Unemployment Rate? Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 1092-1124.
    7. Laurence JACQUET, 2009. "Take it or Leave it : Optimal Transfer Programs, Monitoring and Takeup," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2009003, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    8. Zweimüller, Josef, 2018. "Unemployment insurance and the labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-14.
    9. B. Boutchenik & R. Lardeux, 2020. "The Take-Up of Unemployment Benefit Extensions," Documents de Travail de l'Insee - INSEE Working Papers g2020-02, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques.
    10. Campos, Rodolfo G. & Reggio, Iliana, 2016. "Optimal unemployment insurance: Consumption versus expenditure," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 81-89.
    11. Busk, Henna, 2016. "Sanctions and the exit from unemployment in two different benefit schemes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 159-176.
    12. Raj Chetty & Amy Finkelstein, 2012. "Social Insurance: Connecting Theory to Data," NBER Working Papers 18433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Camille Landais, 2015. "Assessing the Welfare Effects of Unemployment Benefits Using the Regression Kink Design," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 243-278, November.
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    15. Laurence Jacquet, 2010. "Take it or Leave it: Take-up, Optimal Transfer Programs, and Monitoring," CESifo Working Paper Series 3018, CESifo.
    16. Dayanand S. Manoli & Nicholas Turner, 2014. "Nudges and Learning: Evidence from Informational Interventions for Low-Income Taxpayers," NBER Working Papers 20718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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