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Human Capital Accumulation and the Optimal Level of Unemployment Insurance Provision

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  • Brown, Eleanor
  • Kaufold, Howard

Abstract

Previous studies of optimal unemployment insurance design ignore the impact of unemployment insurance on human capital investment decisions. The authors show that fully experience-rated unemployment insurance increases investment in human capital when future employment opportunities are not known with certainty. In the presence of wage taxation, the optimal level of unemployment insurance trades off full insurance and the impact, through human capital, of unemployment insurance on the wage tax base. This trade-off, in turn, depends on the extent to which human capital accumulation reallocates labor between market and untaxed nonmarket activities. Taxation of unemployment insurance benefits increases the optimal level of unemployment insurance provision. Copyright 1988 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Eleanor & Kaufold, Howard, 1988. "Human Capital Accumulation and the Optimal Level of Unemployment Insurance Provision," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 493-514, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:6:y:1988:i:4:p:493-514
    DOI: 10.1086/298193
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2001. "Poverty and Income Distribution in a High Growth Economy : The Case of Chile 1987-98, Volume 2. Background Papers," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15469, The World Bank.
    2. Dan Bernhardt & Steeve Mongrain, 2010. "The Layoff Rat Race," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(1), pages 185-210, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Schneider Brit S. & Schneider Udo & Ulrich Volker, 2007. "Health and the Decision to Invest in Education," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 227(5-6), pages 725-746, October.
    5. repec:old:wpaper:348 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Costa, Carlos Eugênio da & Maestri, Lucas Jóver, 2005. "The interaction between unemployment insurance and human capital policies," FGV EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 595, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil).
    7. Brent Kreider, 2008. "Optimal Wage Taxation When Human Capital And Employment Are Endogenous," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 660-675, October.
    8. Pedro Bação & Marta Simões, 0. "Is the Welfare State Relevant for Economic Growth? Evidence for Portugal," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 0, pages 1-27.
    9. Carsten Helm & Dominique Demougin, 2012. "Incentive Contracts and Efficient Unemployment Benefits in a Globalized World," Working Papers V-348-12, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2012.
    10. repec:zbw:hohpro:348 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Chakraborty, Bidisha & Chakraborty, Kamalika, 2016. "Low Level Equilibrium Trap, Unemployment, School Quality, Child Labour and Human Capital Formation," MPRA Paper 74621, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Castro-Fernandez, Rodriguo & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Protecting the Unemployed in Chile: From State Assistance to Individual Insurance?," MPRA Paper 15416, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter, 2016. "The Effects of Unemployment Insurance Benefits: New Evidence and Interpretation," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 547-581, October.
    14. FLam, Sjur Didrik & Risa, Alf Erling, 1995. "Market Insurance, Social Insurance, and Education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 8(2), pages 149-160, May.
    15. Walter Nicholson & Karen Needels & Heinrich Hock, 2014. "Unemployment Compensation During the Great Recession: Theory and Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 67(1), pages 187-218, March.
    16. Kamalika Chakraborty & Bidisha Chakraborty, 2018. "Low level equilibrium trap, unemployment, efficiency of education system, child labour and human capital formation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 69-95, September.
    17. Jonathan Gruber, 1994. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Pedro Bação & Marta Simões, 2020. "Is the Welfare State Relevant for Economic Growth? Evidence for Portugal," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 62(3), pages 494-520, September.

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