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The Unemployment Benefit System: a Redistributive or an Insurance Institution?

  • Fernando Sanchez Losada
  • Daniel Cardona

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

In this paper we analyze how the composition of labor taxation affects unemployment in a unionized economy with capital accumulation and an unemployment benefit system. We show that if the unemployment benefit system is gross Bismarckian then the unemployment rate is reduced if wage taxes are decreased (and thus payroll taxes are increased). However, if the unemployment benefit system is net Bismarckian then the unemployment rate does not depend on how the system is financed. Besides, in a Beveridgean system the labor tax composition does not affect the unemployment rate if and only if the unemployed do not pay taxes and the employed pay a constant marginal tax rate. We also analyze when an unemployment benefit budget-balanced rule makes the economy to have a hysteresis process.

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Paper provided by Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 129.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2005129
Contact details of provider: Postal: Espai de Recerca en Economia, Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques. Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, Num 1-11 08034 Barcelona. Spain.
Web page: http://www.ere.ub.es

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  1. Beissinger, Thomas & Egger, Hartmut, 2001. "Dynamic Wage Bargaining if Benefits are Tied to Individual Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 389, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, . "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," Working Papers 122, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen, 1990. "Is Unemployment Lower if Unions Bargain over Employment?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 773-87, August.
  4. Albrecht, James W & Vroman, Susan B, 1999. "Unemployment Compensation Finance and Efficiency Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 141-67, January.
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  6. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb, 1999. "Does the Composition of Wage and Payroll Taxes Matter Under Nash Bargaining?," Discussion Papers 203, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  7. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
  8. Andrew Oswald, 1984. "Efficient Contracts are on the Labour Demand Curve: Theory and Facts," Working Papers 555, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Pierre M. PICARD, 2001. "Optimal Employment Subsidies to Heterogeneous Workers: Unemployment-Trap, Job-Additionality and Tax Rates," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 62, pages 97-125.
  10. Jörg Lingens & Klaus Wälde, 2009. "Pareto-Improving Unemployment Policies," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 65(2), pages 220-245, June.
  11. Holm, Pasi & Honkapohja, Seppo & Koskela, Erkki, 1994. "A monopoly-union model of wage determination with capital and taxes: An empirical application to the Finnish manufacturing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 285-303, February.
  12. Koskela , Erkki, 2001. "Labour taxation and employment in trade union models: A partial survey," Research Discussion Papers 19/2001, Bank of Finland.
  13. Luis A. GIL-ALANA, 2001. "Estimation of Fractionally ARIMA Models for the UK Unemployment," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 62, pages 127-137.
  14. Lockwood, Ben & Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage setting and the tax system theory and evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-29, August.
  15. Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage Bargaining and the Phillips Curve: The Identification and Specification of Aggregate Wage Equations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 98-118, January.
  16. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, March.
  17. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen, 1986. "Unemployment in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S121-69, Supplemen.
  18. Goerke, Laszlo & Madsen, Jakob B., 2003. "Earnings-related unemployment benefits and unemployment," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 41-62, March.
  19. Creedy, John & McDonald, Ian M, 1991. "Models of Trade Union Behaviour: A Synthesis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 67(199), pages 346-59, December.
  20. Daniel Cardona & Fernando Sánchez-Losada, 2006. "Unions, qualification choice, and output," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 50-76, January.
  21. Koskela, Erkki & Vilmunen, Jouko, 1996. "Tax progression is good for employment in popular models of trade union behaviour," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 65-80, August.
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