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Potential Unemployment Insurance Duration and Labor Supply: The Individual and Market-Level Response to a Benefit Cut

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  • Andrew C. Johnston
  • Alexandre Mas

Abstract

We examine how a 16-week cut in potential unemployment insurance (UI) duration in Missouri affected search behavior of UI recipients and the aggregate labor market. Using a regression discontinuity design (RDD), we estimate marginal effects of maximum duration on UI and nonemployment spells of 0.45 and 0.25, respectively. We simulate the unemployment rate implied by the RDD estimates assuming no market-level externalities. The implied response closely approximates the decline in the unemployment rate following the benefit cut, suggesting that, even in a period of high unemployment, the labor market absorbed the influx of workers without crowding out other job seekers.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew C. Johnston & Alexandre Mas, 2018. "Potential Unemployment Insurance Duration and Labor Supply: The Individual and Market-Level Response to a Benefit Cut," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(6), pages 2480-2522.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/699973
    DOI: 10.1086/699973
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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