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On voters’ attitudes towards unemployment insurance subsidies across regions: a Canadian simulation

  • Stéphane Pallage


  • Christian Zimmermann


The Canadian unemployment insurance program is designed to reflect the varying risk of joblessness across regions. Regions that are considered low-risk areas subsidize higher risk ones. A region's risk is typically proxied by its relative unemployment rate. We use a dynamic, heterogeneous-agent model calibrated to Canada to analyze voters preferences between a uniformly generous unemployment insurance and the current system with asymmetric generosity. We find that Canada's unusual unemployment insurance system is surprisingly close to what voters would choose in spite of the possibilities of moral hazard and self-insurance through asset build-up.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 391-410

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:19:y:2006:i:2:p:391-410
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  1. Gomes, Joao & Greenwood, Jeremy & Rebelo, Sergio, 2001. "Equilibrium unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 109-152, August.
  2. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  3. Hansen, Gary D & Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 118-42, February.
  4. Hassler, John & Rodriguez Mora, Jose V., 1999. "Employment turnover and the public allocation of unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 55-83, July.
  5. Williamson, S. & Wang, C., 1995. "Unemployment Insurance with Moral Hazard in a Dynamic Economy," Working Papers 95-09, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  6. Hassler, John & Mora, Jose & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2002. "The Survival of the Welfare State," Seminar Papers 704, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
  8. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen D., 2002. "Moral hazard, optimal unemployment insurance, and experience rating," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1337-1371, October.
  9. Pallage, Stephane & Zimmermann, Christian, 2001. "Voting on Unemployment Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 903-23, November.
  10. Wright, Randall, 1986. "The redistributive roles of unemployment insurance and the dynamics of voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 377-399, December.
  11. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
  12. Stephane Pallage & Christian Zimmermann, 1999. "Heterogeneous Labor Markets and the Generosity Towards the Unemployed: An International Perspective," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 88, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  13. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
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