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Efficient Unemployment Insurance

  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Robert Shimer

This paper argues that moderate unemployment insurance not only reduces the uncertainty faced by risk-averse workers but also improves efficiency and raises output. We develop a model in which the decentralized equilibrium is inefficient without unemployment insurance, because the labor market endogenously creates jobs that provide risk-averse workers with low unemployment risk and low wages. Essentially, the labor market offers its own version of insurance.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/250084
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 107 (1999)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 893-928

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:107:y:1999:i:5:p:893-928
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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  1. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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  19. Sattinger, Michael, 1990. "Unemployment, the Market for Interviews, and Wage Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 356-71, April.
  20. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
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  23. van Ours, J C & Ridder, G, 1993. "Vacancy Durations: Search or Selection?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(2), pages 187-98, May.
  24. Topel, Robert & Welch, Finis, 1980. "Unemployment Insurance: Survey and Extensions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 351-79, August.
  25. Marimon, R. & Zilibotti, F., 1998. "Unemployment vs. Mismatch of Talents," Papers 661, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  26. 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.
  27. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  28. Gary D. Hansen & Ayse Imrohoroglu, 1990. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," UCLA Economics Working Papers 583, UCLA Department of Economics.
  29. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search Decisions," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  30. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
  31. Katz, Lawrence F. & Meyer, Bruce D., 1990. "The impact of the potential duration of unemployment benefits on the duration of unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 45-72, February.
  32. Grossman, Gene M & Shapiro, Carl, 1982. "A Theory of Factor Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 1054-69, October.
  33. Daron Acemoglu, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804.
  34. James D. Montgomery, 1991. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion and Interindustry Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 163-179.
  35. Martin Neil Baily, 1977. "Unemployment Insurance as Insurance for Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 495-504, July.
  36. Andolfatto, David & Gomme, Paul, 1996. "Unemployment insurance and labor-market activity in Canada," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 47-82, June.
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