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What Have We Learned from the Illinois Reemployment Bonus Experiment?

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  • Meyer, Bruce D

Abstract

This article analyzes an experimental program that offered payments to unemployment insurance recipients who found a job quickly. The experiment provided exogenous differences in individual incentives, which the author uses to test labor supply and search theories of unemployment. He examines predictions about the timing of exits from unemployment and the effect of the fixed-amount bonus on different wage level groups. The author also argues that the experimental evidence does not show the desirability of a permanent program. A permanent program would sharply increase the compensation for short unemployment insurance spells, likely increasing the claims rate and possibly increasing unemployment. Copyright 1996 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Meyer, Bruce D, 1996. "What Have We Learned from the Illinois Reemployment Bonus Experiment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 26-51, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:14:y:1996:i:1:p:26-51
    DOI: 10.1086/209802
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Topel, Robert H, 1983. "On Layoffs and Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 541-559, September.
    2. 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 1347-1362, December.
    3. repec:fth:prinin:242 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Rebecca M. Blank & David E. Card, 1991. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1157-1189.
    5. Patricia M. Anderson & Bruce D. Meyer, 1994. "Unemployment Insurance Benefits and Takeup Rates," NBER Working Papers 4787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Layoffs, Recall and the Duration of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Hausman, Jerry A. & Wise, David A. (ed.), 1985. "Social Experimentation," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226319407.
    8. Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1985. "Social Experimentation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number haus85-1, May.
    9. Bruce Meyer, 1988. "Implications of the Illinois Reemployment Bonus Experiments for Theories of Unemployment and Policy Design," Working Papers 622, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    10. Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Implications of the Illinois Reemployment Bonus Experiments For Theories of Unemployment and Policy Design," NBER Working Papers 2783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. David M. Blau, 1992. "An Empirical Analysis of Employed and Unemployed Job Search Behavior," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(4), pages 738-752, July.
    12. Lawrence F. Katz & Bruce D. Meyer, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance, Recall Expectations, and Unemployment Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 973-1002.
    13. Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1985. "Introduction to "Social Experimentation"," NBER Chapters, in: Social Experimentation, pages 1-10, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Implications of the Illinois Reemployment Bonus Experiments for Theories of Unemployment and Policy Design," Working Papers 622, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    15. Sider, Hal, 1985. "Unemployment Duration and Incidence: 1968-82," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 461-472, June.
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