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Optimal Unemployment Insurance and Employment History

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  • Hugo A. Hopenhayn
  • Juan Pablo Nicolini

Abstract

In existing unemployment insurance programmes, it is standard to condition eligibility on the previous employment record of unemployed workers. The purpose of this article is to study conditions under which the efficient contract exhibits these properties. In order to do so, we characterize the optimal unemployment insurance contract in asymmetric information environments in which workers experience multiple unemployment spells. We show that if quits cannot be distinguished from layoffs, it is optimal to condition the benefits paid to unemployed workers on their employment history, in particular, the coverage should increase with the length of previous employment spells. Copyright , Wiley-Blackwell.

Suggested Citation

  • Hugo A. Hopenhayn & Juan Pablo Nicolini, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance and Employment History," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1049-1070.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:76:y:2009:i:3:p:1049-1070
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Merkl & Thijs van Rens, 2011. "Selective hiring and welfare analysis in labor market models," Economics Working Papers 1277, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 2012.
    2. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Langot, François & Ménard, Sébastien & Sopraseuth, Thepthida, 2012. "Optimal unemployment insurance for older workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 509-519.
    3. Sebastian Koehne & Moritz Kuhn, 2015. "Should unemployment insurance be asset-tested?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 575-592, July.
    4. repec:hal:pseose:halshs-00856144 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Cahuc, Pierre, 2014. "Search, flows, job creations and destructions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 22-29.
    6. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Odd Rune Straume & Steinar Vagstad, 2012. "Employment protection and unemployment benefits: On technology adoption and job creation in a matching model," NIPE Working Papers 3/2012, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    7. Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Jan C. Ours, 2014. "Labor Market Effects Of Unemployment Insurance Design," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 284-311, April.
    8. 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.
    9. Fuller, David L., 2014. "Adverse selection and moral hazard: Quantitative implications for unemployment insurance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 108-122.
    10. Josepa Miquel-Florensa, 2013. "Dynamic contractual incentives in the face of a Samaritans’s dilemma," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 151-166, January.
    11. Luz Adriana Flórez, 2014. "The Efficiency of the Informal Sector on the Search and Matching Framework," Borradores de Economia 832, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    12. Miquel Faig & Min Zhang, 2012. "Labor Market Cycles, Unemployment Insurance Eligibility, and Moral Hazard," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(1), pages 41-56, January.
    13. François Gerard & Miikka Rokkanen & Christoph Rothe, 2016. "Bounds on Treatment Effects in Regression Discontinuity Designs under Manipulation of the Running Variable, with an Application to Unemployment Insurance in Brazil," NBER Working Papers 22892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Nicola Pavoni & Ofer Setty & Giovanni Violante, 2016. "The design of 'soft' welfare-to-work programs," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 160-180, April.
    15. Mazur, Karol, 2016. "Can welfare abuse be welfare improving?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 11-28.
    16. Oikonomou, Rigas, 2013. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Private Insurance," MPRA Paper 55726, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00856144 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00856144 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Spinnewijn, Johannes, 2013. "Training and search during unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 49-65.
    20. Spinnewijn, Johannes, 2010. "Training and Search during Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7779, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Andersen, Torben M. & Kristoffersen, Mark Strom & Svarer, Michael, 2015. "Benefit Reentitlement Conditions in Unemployment Insurance Schemes," IZA Discussion Papers 8991, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. Sebastien Menard & Solenne Tanguy, 2017. "Revisiting Hopenhayn and Nicolini 's optimal unemployment insurance with job search monitoring and sanctions," TEPP Working Paper 2017-08, TEPP.

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