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Optimal unemployment insurance design: Time limits, monitoring, or workfare?

  • Peter Fredriksson

    ()

  • Bertil Holmlund

    ()

This paper analyses crucial design features of unemployment insurance (UI) policies. We examine three different means of improving the efficiency of UI: the duration of benefit payments, monitoring in conjunction with sanctions, and workfare. To that end we develop a quantitative model of equilibrium unemployment. The model features worker heterogeneity in preferences for leisure. The analysis suggests that a system with monitoring and sanctions restores search incentives most effectively, since it brings additional incentives to search actively so as to avoid the sanction. Therefore, the UI provider can offer a more generous UI replacement rate in a system with monitoring and sanctions than in the other two systems. Workfare appears to be inferior to the other two systems. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-006-6249-3
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 565-585

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:13:y:2006:i:5:p:565-585
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

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  7. Stephen Williamson & Cheng Wang, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance with Moral Hazard in a Dynamic Economy," Macroeconomics 9506002, EconWPA.
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  9. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 1998. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Working Paper Series 1998:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  10. Boone, J. & Fredriksson, P. & Holmlund, B. & van Ours, J.C., 2007. "Optimal unemployment insurance with monitoring and sanctions," Other publications TiSEM f2b1b916-41f5-4964-bad8-3, School of Economics and Management.
  11. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1991. "The Design Of Income Maintenance Programs," Papers 74, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - John M. Olin Program.
  12. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2003. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Working Paper Series 2003:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  13. Lalive, Rafael & van Ours, Jan C & Zweimüller, Josef, 2002. "The Effect of Benefit Sanctions on the Duration of Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 3311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  16. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 1999. "Is the Threat of Training More Effective Than Training Itself? Experimental Evidence from the UI System," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9913, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  17. Carl Davidson & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1995. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 95-35, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  18. Beaudry, Paul & Blackorby, Charles, 2006. "Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 766, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  19. 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.
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  21. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  22. Claus T. Hansen & Torben Tranaes, 2000. "Optimal Workfare in a Society of Workers and Non-Workers," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0758, Econometric Society.
  23. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. Berg & Jan C. Ours, 2005. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions on the Transition Rate from Unemployment to Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 602-630, 07.
  24. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 2003. "Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective Than the Services Themselves? Evidence from Random Assignment in the UI System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1313-1327, September.
  25. 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.
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