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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.

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  • 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
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Reis & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Optimal Automatic Stabilizers," 2015 Meeting Papers 608, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Serdar Birinci & Kurt Gerrard See, 2018. "How Should Unemployment Insurance vary over the Business Cycle?," 2018 Meeting Papers 69, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Krebs, Tom & Scheffel, Martin, 2016. "Labor Market Institutions and the Cost of Recessions," IZA Discussion Papers 10442, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Brown, Alessio & Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2016. "The effects of productivity and benefits on unemployment: Breaking the link," MERIT Working Papers 032, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. Jonas Kolsrud & Camille Landais & Peter Nilsson & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2018. "The Optimal Timing of Unemployment Benefits: Theory and Evidence from Sweden," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(4-5), pages 985-1033, April.
    6. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii & Kurt Mitman, 2016. "Interpreting Recent Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Unemployment Benefit Extensions," NBER Working Papers 22280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Yolanda F. Rebollo-Sanz & Nuria Rodriguez Planas, 2016. "When the Going Gets Tough... Financial Incentives, Duration of Unemployment and Job-Match Quality," Working Papers 16.11, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    8. repec:oup:jeurec:v:16:y:2018:i:5:p:1281-1349. is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Jonas Kolsrud & Camille Landais & Peter Nilsson & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2015. "The Optimal Timing of UI Benefits: Theory and Evidence from Sweden," CEP Discussion Papers dp1361, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. Marco Di Maggio & Amir Kermani, 2016. "The Importance of Unemployment Insurance as an Automatic Stabilizer," NBER Working Papers 22625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2016. "The Masking of the Decline in Manufacturing Employment by the Housing Bubble," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 179-200, Spring.
    12. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2018. "A Macroeconomic Approach to Optimal Unemployment Insurance: Applications," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 182-216, May.
    13. Jesse Rothstein & Till von Wachter, 2016. "Social Experiments in the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 22585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Andrew Figura & David Ratner, 2017. "How Large were the Effects of Emergency and Extended Benefits on Unemployment during the Great Recession and its Aftermath?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-068, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
    15. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii & Kurt Mitman, 2015. "The Impact of Unemployment Benefit Extensions on Employment: The 2014 Employment Miracle?," NBER Working Papers 20884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2016. "The Limited Macroeconomic Effects of Unemployment Benefit Extensions," NBER Working Papers 22163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Steven Dieterle & Otávio Bartalotti & Quentin Brummet, 2016. "Revisiting the Effects of Unemployment Insurance Extensions on Unemployment: A Measurement Error-Corrected Regression Discontinuity Approach," CARRA Working Papers 2016-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    18. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2018. "A Macroeconomic Approach to Optimal Unemployment Insurance: Theory," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 152-181, May.
    19. Yavuz Arslan & Ahmet Degerli & Gazi Kabaş, 2019. "Unintended consequences of unemployment insurance benefits: the role of banks," BIS Working Papers 795, Bank for International Settlements.
    20. Boone, Christopher & Dube, Arindrajit & Goodman, Lucas & Kaplan, Ethan, 2016. "Unemployment Insurance Generosity and Aggregate Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 10439, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    21. 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.
    22. Schmieder, Johannes F. & Trenkle, Simon, 2016. "Disincentive Effects of Unemployment Benefits and the Role of Caseworkers," IZA Discussion Papers 9868, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    23. Bernardus Van Doornik & David Schoenherr & Janis Skrastins, 2018. "Unemployment Insurance, Strategic Unemployment and Firm-Worker Collusion," Working Papers Series 483, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    24. Mitman, Kurt & Rabinovich, Stanislav, 2019. "Do Unemployment Benefit Extensions Explain the Emergence of Jobless Recoveries?," IZA Discussion Papers 12365, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    25. Fatih Karahan & Yusuf Mercan, 2019. "UI and DI: Macroeconomic Implications of Program Substitution," 2019 Meeting Papers 1076, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and 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

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