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Voluntary income sharing and the design of unemployment insurance

  • Dan Anderberg

This paper uses a model of search unemployment to discuss the interaction between publicly provided insurance and informal insurance through voluntary income sharing, e.g., between spouses. Income sharing reduces the optimal level of public unemployment insurance. While it is always individually rational for partners to share income, the effect of voluntary income sharing on welfare will be negative unless partners can either observe each other's search behavior or are sufficiently altruistic towards each other. The model is also used to examine a family-based policy. The welfare gains from using such policy are argued to be small. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s001480200121
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Article provided by Springer & European Society for Population Economics in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 71-90

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:16:y:2003:i:1:p:71-90
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  1. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
  2. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Carl Davidson & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1995. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 95-35, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  4. Eric M. Engen & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Precautionary Saving," NBER Working Papers 5252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 1998. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Working Paper Series 1998:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  6. Steven Shavell & Laurence Weiss, 1978. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 503, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Out Spousal Labor Supply?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 546-72, July.
  8. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
  9. Chami, Ralph & Fischer, Jeffrey H, 1996. "Altruism, Matching, and Nonmarket Insurance," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(4), pages 630-47, October.
  10. Flemming, J. S., 1978. "Aspects of optimal unemployment insurance : Search, leisure, savings and capital market imperfections," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 403-425, December.
  11. James Costain, 1997. "Unemployment insurance with endogenous search intensity and precautionary saving," Economics Working Papers 243, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  12. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  13. Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt & Seth D. Harris & Orley Lobel (ed.), Labor and Employment Law and Economics, volume 2, pages 480-516 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    • Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Chapters, in: Labor and Employment Law and Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  14. Merrigan, Philip & Normandin, Michel, 1996. "Precautionary Saving Motives: An Assessment from UK Time Series of Cross-Sections," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1193-1208, September.
  15. Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
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