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Unemployment, Crime and Social Insurance

Author

Listed:
  • Long, Iain W.

    () (Cardiff Business School)

  • Polito, Vito

    () (Cardiff Business School)

Abstract

We study an individual's incentive to search for a job in the presence of random criminal opportunities. These opportunities extenuate moral hazard, as the individual sometimes commits crime rather than searching. Even when he searches, he applies less effort. We then revisit the design of optimal unemployment insurance in this environment. If the individual is more likely to remain unemployed and unpunished when he commits crime than when he searches for a job (as suggested by empirical studies), declining unemployment benefits reduce the payoff from crime relative to that from searching. Compared to the canonical models of optimal unemployment insurance, this provides a further incentive to reduce benefits over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Long, Iain W. & Polito, Vito, 2014. "Unemployment, Crime and Social Insurance," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2014/9, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdf:wpaper:2014/9
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    File URL: http://carbsecon.com/wp/E2014_9.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bryan Engelhardt, 2010. "The Effect of Employment Frictions on Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 677-718, July.
    2. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-1362, December.
    3. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, January.
    4. Stefania Albanesi & Roc Armenter, 2012. "Intertemporal Distortions in the Second Best," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1271-1307.
    5. Pollak, Andreas, 2007. "Optimal unemployment insurance with heterogeneous agents," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 2029-2053, November.
    6. Denis Fougère & Francis Kramarz & Julien Pouget, 2009. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 909-938, September.
    7. Engelhardt, Bryan & Rocheteau, Guillaume & Rupert, Peter, 2008. "Crime and the labor market: A search model with optimal contracts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1876-1891, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. King Yoong Lim & Pengfei Jia & Ali Raza, 2018. "Crime, Human Capital, and the Impact of Different Taxation," Working Papers 220851234, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    2. Bindler, Anna, 2016. "Still unemployed, what next? Crime and unemployment duration," Working Papers in Economics 660, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment insurance; Moral hazard; Crime; Recursive contracts;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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