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The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard

  • Hansen, Gary D
  • Imrohoroglu, Ayse

The potential welfare benefits of unemployment insurance, along with the optimal replacement ratio, are studied using a quantitative dynamic general equilibrium model. To provide a role for unemployment insurance, agents in the authors' economy face exogenous idiosyncratic employment shocks and are unable to borrow or insure themselves through private markets. In the absence of moral hazard, replacement ratios as high as 0.65 are optimal and the welfare benefits of unemployment insurance are quite large. However, if there is moral hazard and the replacement ratio is not set optimally, the economy can be much worse-off than it would be without unemployment insurance. Copyright 1992 by University of Chicago Press.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 100 (1992)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 118-42

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:100:y:1992:i:1:p:118-42
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  1. Burdett, Kenneth & Wright, Randall, 1989. "Unemployment Insurance and Short-Time Compensation: The Effects on Layoffs, Hours per Worker, and Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1479-96, December.
  2. 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 754-66, December.
  3. Rebecca Blank & David Card & Whitney Newey, 1988. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," Working Papers 623, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  5. Imrohoruglu, Ayse, 1989. "Cost of Business Cycles with Indivisibilities and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1364-83, December.
  6. Finis Welch, 1977. "What have we learned from empirical studies of unemployment insurance?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 451-461, July.
  7. Easley, David & Kiefer, Nicholas M & Possen, Uri, 1985. "An Equilibrium Analysis of Optimal Unemployment Insurance and Taxation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 989-1010, Supp..
  8. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  9. 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.
  10. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  11. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "Unemployment Insurance and Labor Force Transitions," NBER Working Papers 0920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Topel, Robert H, 1983. "On Layoffs and Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 541-59, September.
  13. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  14. 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.
  15. Feldstein, Martin S, 1978. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance on Temporary Layoff Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(5), pages 834-46, December.
  16. Martin Neil Bailey, 1977. "Unemployment insurance as insurance for workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 495-504, July.
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