IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/jlabec/v20y2002i2p404-403.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Determination of Unemployment Benefits

Author

Listed:
  • Rafael Di Tella

    (Harvard Business School)

  • Robert J. MacCulloch

    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

While much empirical research exists on labor market consequences of unemployment benefits, there is remarkably little evidence on the forces determining benefits. We present a simple model where workers desire insurance against unemployment risk and benefits increase the unemployment rate. We then conduct one of the first empirical analyses of the determinants of the parameters of the benefit system. Using data for developed countries for 197189, controlling for year and country fixed effects and the government's political color, we find evidence that the level of benefits falls when the unemployment rate is high. This is consistent with Wright's tax effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch, 2002. "The Determination of Unemployment Benefits," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 404-434, Part.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:20:y:2002:i:2:p:404-403
    DOI: 10.1086/338690
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/338690
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1086/338690?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kiander, Jaakko, 1993. "Endogenous unemployment insurance in a monopoly union model when job search matters," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 101-115, August.
    2. Ram, Rati, 1987. "Wagner's Hypothesis in Time-Series and Cross-section Perspectives:," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 194-204, May.
    3. Boadway, Robin W. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1983. "Unemployment insurance and redistributive taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 193-210, March.
    4. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
    5. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
    6. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
    7. Cameron, David R., 1978. "The Expansion of the Public Economy: A Comparative Analysis," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 1243-1261, December.
    8. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2001. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 500-528, June.
    9. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1976. "Unemployment Insurance, Duration of Unemployment, and Subsequent Wage Gain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 754-766, December.
    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. 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.
    12. Feldstein, Martin S, 1978. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance on Temporary Layoff Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(5), pages 834-846, December.
    13. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    14. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Holmlund, Bertil, 1997. "Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Working Paper Series 1997:25, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
    4. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2014. "Culture, Beliefs and Economic Performance," Working Papers 14_06, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    5. MacCulloch, Robert, 1999. "What makes a revolution?," ZEI Working Papers B 24-1999, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    6. 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.
    7. David R. Howell & Miriam Rehm, 2009. "Unemployment compensation and high European unemployment: a reassessment with new benefit indicators," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 60-93, Spring.
    8. Huang, Emma Li-Hsuan & Huang, Julia Hsin-Yi, 2013. "Labor Market Reforms on the Unemployment Rate and Wage Payments in Europe," MPRA Paper 63248, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Howell David R. & Baker Dean & Glyn Andrew & Schmitt John, 2007. "Are Protective Labor Market Institutions at the Root of Unemployment? A Critical Review of the Evidence," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-73, May.
    10. Oswald Andrew J., 1996. "A Conjecture on the Explanation for High Unemployment in the Industrialized Nations : Part I," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 475, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    11. Botta, Alberto & Tippet, Ben, 2020. "The roots of a divided eurozone: rigid labour markets or asymmetric technology-macroeconomic regimes?," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 30958, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
    12. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 1998. "Equilibrium unemployment insurance," Economics Working Papers 605, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 1999.
    13. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2008. "Gross national happiness as an answer to the Easterlin Paradox?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 22-42, April.
    14. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2005. "The consequences of labor market flexibility: Panel evidence based on survey data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1225-1259, July.
    15. Robert MacCulloch, 2001. "Does Social Insurance Help Secure Property Rights?," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 31, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    16. Andreas Kuhn, 2009. "In the Eye of the Beholder: Subjective Inequality Measures and the Demand for Redistribution," NRN working papers 2009-14, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    17. Tetsuya Matsubayashi & Michiko Ueda, 2012. "Government Partisanship and Human Well-Being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 127-148, May.
    18. Kuhn, Andreas, 2009. "In the Eye of the Beholder: Subjective Inequality Measures and the Demand for Redistribution," IZA Discussion Papers 4360, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Neugart, Michael, 2005. "Unemployment insurance: The role of electoral systems and regional labour markets," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 815-829, December.
    20. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2006. "Europe vs America: Institutional hysteresis in a simple normative model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2161-2186, December.
    21. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
    22. Douglas, R & MacCulloch, Robert, 2016. "Welfare: Savings not Taxation," Working Papers 31890, Department of Economics, The University of Auckland.
    23. Fredriksson, Peter, 1999. "The political economy of public employment programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 487-504, June.
    24. Andreas Kuhn, 2009. "In the eye of the beholder: subjective inequality measures and the demand for redistribution," IEW - Working Papers 425, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    25. Matsubayashi, Tetsuya & Ueda, Michiko, 2011. "The effect of national suicide prevention programs on suicide rates in 21 OECD nations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(9), pages 1395-1400.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2006. "Europe vs America: Institutional hysteresis in a simple normative model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2161-2186, December.
    2. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2002. "Informal Family Insurance And The Design Of The Welfare State," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 481-503, July.
    3. MacCulloch, Robert, 2001. "Does social insurance help secure property rights?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6648, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. 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 118-142, February.
    5. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2014. "Culture, Beliefs and Economic Performance," Working Papers 14_06, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    6. Chetty, Raj, 2006. "A general formula for the optimal level of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1879-1901, November.
    7. Tito Boeri & Jan van Ours, 2013. "The Economics of Imperfect Labor Markets: Second Edition," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10142.
    8. Holmlund, Bertil, 1997. "Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Working Paper Series 1997:25, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    9. Walter Nicholson & Karen Needels, 2006. "Unemployment Insurance: Strengthening the Relationship between Theory and Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 47-70, Summer.
    10. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Political economics and public finance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1549-1659, Elsevier.
    11. Fredrik Carlsen & Kåre Johansen & Knut RØed, 2006. "Wage Formation, Regional Migration and Local Labour Market Tightness," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(4), pages 423-444, August.
    12. Bourguignon, Francois, 2005. "The Effect of Economic Growth on Social Structures," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 27, pages 1701-1747, Elsevier.
    13. Kevin Williams, 2021. "Does national income mediate the relationship between trade and government size?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 61(6), pages 3029-3057, December.
    14. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
    15. Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't The US Have a European-Style Welfare State?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1933, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    16. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Cash-on-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1511-1560.
    17. Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 187-278.
    18. Agell Jonas, 2002. "On the Determinants of Labour Market Institutions: Rent Seeking vs. Social Insurance," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 107-135, May.
    19. Ahrens, Joachim & Schweickert, Rainer & Zenker, Juliane, 2011. "Varieties of capitalism, governance and government spending: A cross-section analysis," PFH Forschungspapiere/Research Papers 2011/01, PFH Private University of Applied Sciences, Göttingen.
    20. Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY & Ping HUA, 2000. "Economic openness and public expenditure in China: a regional analysis," Working Papers 200005, CERDI.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • J69 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Other

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:20:y:2002:i:2:p:404-403. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Journals Division (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.