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Should Unemployment Benefits Be Related to Previous Earnings?

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  • Burkhard Heer

Abstract

In most OECD countries, unemployment benefits are tied to individual previous labor earnings. We study the progressivity of this indexation in a calibratedgeneral-equilibrium overlapping-generations model with flexible labor supply, keeping the government expenditures on unemployment insurance constant over the different scenarios. We find that higher indexation of unemployment benefits to previous earnings has only small quantitative effects on output, employment, the distribution of income, and welfare. We also provide a tentative analysis of the most recent Hartz IV reform, where unemployment benefits decrease sharply after one year of unemployment. This reform is found to have positive but very small efficiency and welfare effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Burkhard Heer, 2006. "Should Unemployment Benefits Be Related to Previous Earnings?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(4), pages 530-550, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200612)62:4_530:subbrt_2.0.tx_2-0
    DOI: 10.1628/001522106X172689
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Hunt, Jennifer, 1995. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 88-120, January.
    9. Heer, Burkhard, 2003. "Employment and Welfare Effects of a Two-Tier Unemployment Compensation System," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(2), pages 147-168, March.
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    11. Heer, Burkhard & Trede, Mark, 2003. "Efficiency and distribution effects of a revenue-neutral income tax reform," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 87-107, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Burkhard Heer, 2006. "Should Unemployment Benefits Be Related to Previous Earnings?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(4), pages 530-550, December.
    2. Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2013. "Estimating Incentive And Welfare Effects Of Nonstationary Unemployment Benefits," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 1159-1198, November.
    3. Luca Gori & Luciano Fanti, 2009. "Monopoly union, unemployment benefits and labour taxes: The unemployment problem revisited," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(1), pages 482-490.
    4. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg & Heinrich Ursprung, 2010. "A positive theory of the earnings relationship of unemployment benefits," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 137-163, October.
    5. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Labor market deregulation and globalization: empirical evidence from OECD countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 146(3), pages 545-571, September.
    6. Corrado Andini, 2013. "How well does a dynamic Mincer equation fit NLSY data? Evidence based on a simple wage-bargaining model," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 1519-1543, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    earnings-related unemployment benefits; Hartz IV; computable general equilibrium; overlapping generations;

    JEL classification:

    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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