Employment and Welfare Effects of a Two-Tier Unemployment Compensation System
In Germany, as in many OECD countries, such as the United Kingdom, unemployment compensation consists of unemployment insurance and unemployment assistance. Unemployment assistance is provided subsequent to the expiration of entitlement to unemployment insurance and is lower. The effects of this two-tier unemployment compensation system are studied in a general equilibrium job search model with endogenous distributions of income, wealth, and employment which is calibrated with regard to the characteristics of the German economy. Our results are as follows: (i) employment is a decreasing function of both unemployment insurance and unemployment assistance. (ii) Aggregate savings are (not) a monotone decreasing function of unemployment assistance (unemployment insurance) payments. (iii) Optimal unemployment compensation payments are found to be a decreasing function over time. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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