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Incentive Contracts and Efficient Unemployment Benefits

  • Dominique Demougin
  • Carsten Helm

Several European countries have reformed their labor market institutions. Incentive effects of unemployment benefits have been an important aspect of these reforms. We analyze this issue in a principal-agent model, focusing on unemployment levels and labor productivity. In our model, a higher level of unemployment benefits improves the works position in wage bargaining, leading to stronger effort incentives and higher output. However, it also reduces incentives for labor market participation. Accordingly, there is a trade-off. We analyze how changes in the economic environment such as globalization and better educated works affect this trade-off.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2670.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2670
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  1. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2001. "Monitoring versus incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1741-1764, October.
  2. Olivier Blanchard, 2004. "The Economic Future of Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 3-26, Fall.
  3. Holmlund, Bertil, 1997. "Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Working Paper Series 1997:25, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Lalive, R. & van Ours, J.C. & Zweimüller, J., 2004. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," Discussion Paper 2004-86, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Acemoglu, D. & Shimer, R., 1997. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Working papers 97-9, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Dominique Demougin & Carsten Helm, 2006. "Moral Hazard and Bargaining Power," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7, pages 463-470, November.
  7. Mathis Hungerbühler & Etienne Lehmann, 2007. "On the Optimality of a Minimum Wage : New Insights from Optimal Tax Theory”," Working Papers 2007-17, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  8. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2003. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Working Paper Series 2003:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  9. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  10. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2004. "Why are European Countries Diverging in their Unemployment Experience?," IDEI Working Papers 269, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  11. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  12. Steven Shavell & Laurence Weiss, 1978. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 503, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 2000. "Productivity gains from unemployment insurance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1195-1224, June.
  14. Marimon, Ramon & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1999. "Unemployment vs. Mismatch of Talents: Reconsidering Unemployment Benefits," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 266-91, April.
  15. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2003. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," CESifo Working Paper Series 922, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Steve, 1996. "Unemployment Insurance with Moral Hazard in a Dynamic Economy," Staff General Research Papers 5088, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  17. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  18. Luca Nunziata, 2005. "Institutions and Wage Determination: a Multi-country Approach," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(4), pages 435-466, 08.
  19. Pitchford, Rohan, 1998. "Moral hazard and limited liability: The real effects of contract bargaining," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 251-259, November.
  20. Albert van der Horst, 2003. "Structural Estimates of Equilibrium Unemployment in Six OECD Economies," Economics Working Papers 022, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  21. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 1998. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Working Paper Series 1998:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  22. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. P. Diamond, 1980. "Mobility Costs, Frictional Unemployment and Efficiency," Working papers 257, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  24. Son Ku Kim, 1997. "Limited Liability and Bonus Contracts," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 899-913, December.
  25. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475.
  26. 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.
  27. Paul L. Burgess & Jerry L. Kingston, 1976. "The impact of unemployment insurance benefits on reemployment success," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(1), pages 25-31, October.
  28. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
  29. Goerke, Laszlo, 2000. "On the structure of unemployment benefits in shirking models," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 283-295, May.
  30. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-34, August.
  31. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:40:i:1:p:45-64 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  33. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, 01.
  34. Jacobi, Lena & Kluve, Jochen, 2007. "Before and after the Hartz reforms: The performance of active labour market policy in Germany," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 40(1), pages 45-64.
  35. Rafael Lalive & Jan C. van Ours & Josef Zweimüller, 2004. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1337, CESifo Group Munich.
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