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Labor Market Policies During an Epidemic

Author

Listed:
  • Serdar Birinci
  • Fatih Karahan
  • Yusuf Mercan
  • Kurt See

Abstract

We study the positive and normative implications of labor market policies that counteract the economic fallout from containment measures during an epidemic. We incorporate a standard epidemiological model into an equilibrium search model of the labor market to compare unemployment insurance (UI) expansions and payroll subsidies. In isolation, payroll subsidies that preserve match capital and enable a swift economic recovery are preferred over a cost-equivalent UI expansion. When considered jointly, however, a cost-equivalent optimal mix allocates 20 percent of the budget to payroll subsidies and 80 percent to UI. The two policies are complementary, catering to different rungs of the productivity ladder. The relatively small proportion allocated to payroll subsidies is sufficient to preserve high-productivity jobs but this also leaves room for social assistance to workers who face inevitable job losses.

Suggested Citation

  • Serdar Birinci & Fatih Karahan & Yusuf Mercan & Kurt See, 2020. "Labor Market Policies During an Epidemic," Staff Working Papers 20-54, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:20-54
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Policy responses > Macroeconomic

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    Cited by:

    1. Marinescu, Ioana & Skandalis, Daphné & Zhao, Daniel, 2021. "The impact of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation on job search and vacancy creation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
    2. Luciana C. Fiorini & Wilfredo L. Maldonado, 2022. "Labor Supply in Pandemics Environments: An Aggregative Games Approach," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2022_18, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    3. Casey B. Mulligan, 2021. "The Backward Art of Slowing the Spread? Congregation Efficiencies during COVID-19," NBER Working Papers 28737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Sewon Hur, 2023. "The Distributional Effects Of Covid‐19 And Optimal Mitigation Policies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 64(1), pages 261-294, February.
    5. Yahong Zhang, 2022. "Unemployment Benefits and Wage Subsidies -- Effects of Labour Market Policies during a Pandemic," Working Papers 2203, University of Windsor, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2022.
    6. Corina Boar & Simon Mongey, 2020. "Dynamic Trade-offs and Labor Supply Under the CARES Act," NBER Working Papers 27727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lei Fang & Jun Nie & Zoe Xie, 2020. "Unemployment Insurance during a Pandemic," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2020-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    8. Acedański, Jan, 2021. "Optimal lockdown policy during the election period," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 102-117.
    9. Wei Dong & Geoffrey Dunbar & Christian Friedrich & Dmitry Matveev & Romanos Priftis & Lin Shao, 2021. "Complementarities Between Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy—Literature Review," Discussion Papers 2021-4, Bank of Canada.
    10. Wei Cui & Jeffrey Hicks & Max Norton, 2022. "How well-targeted are payroll tax cuts as a response to COVID-19? evidence from China," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 29(5), pages 1321-1347, October.
    11. Mitman, Kurt & Rabinovich, Stanislav, 2021. "Whether, when and how to extend unemployment benefits: Theory and application to COVID-19," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
    12. Peter Ganong & Fiona Greig & Max Liebeskind & Pascal Noel & Daniel Sullivan & Joseph Vavra, 2021. "Spending and Job Search Impacts of Expanded Unemployment Benefits: Evidence from Administrative Micro Data," Working Papers 2021-19, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    13. Sewon Hur, 2023. "The Distributional Effects Of Covid‐19 And Optimal Mitigation Policies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 64(1), pages 261-294, February.
    14. Dergiades, Theologos & Milas, Costas & Panagiotidis, Theodore, 2022. "Unemployment claims during COVID-19 and economic support measures in the U.S," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 113(C).
    15. Mitman, Kurt & Rabinovich, Stanislav, 2020. "Optimal Unemployment Benefits in the Pandemic," IZA Discussion Papers 13389, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Yuki Uemura, 2022. "Job Search Intensity and Wage Rigidity in Business Cycles," KIER Working Papers 1078, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    17. García-Cabo, Joaquín & Lipińska, Anna & Navarro, Gastón, 2023. "Sectoral shocks, reallocation, and labor market policies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 156(C).
    18. Joaquín García-Cabo & Joaquín Anna Lipińska & Gastón Navarro, 2023. "Sectoral shocks, reallocation, and labor market policies," BIS Working Papers 1095, Bank for International Settlements.
    19. Malak Kandoussi & François Langot, 2021. "On the heterogeneous impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on US unemployment," Working Papers hal-03107369, HAL.
    20. Balleer, Almut, 2023. "Comment on “Sectoral shocks, reallocation, and labor market policies” by Joaquín García-Cabo, Anna Lipińska, and Gastón Navarro," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 157(C).
    21. Joaquin Garcia-Cabo & Anna Lipinska & Gaston Navarro, 2022. "Sectoral Shocks, Reallocation, and Labor Market Policies," International Finance Discussion Papers 1361, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coronavirus disease (COVID-19); Business fluctuations and cycles; Fiscal policy; Labour markets;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy; Modern Monetary Theory
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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