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Why is there a Spike in the Job Finding Rate at Benefit Exhaustion?

Author

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  • Jan Boone
  • Jan C. van Ours
  • Jan C. van Ours

Abstract

Putting a limit on the duration of unemployment benefits tends to introduce a “spike” in the job finding rate shortly before benefits are exhausted. Current theories explain this spike from workers’ behavior. We present a theoretical model in which also the nature of the job matters. End-of-benefit spikes in job finding rates are related to optimizing behavior of unemployed workers who rationally assume that employers will accept delays in the starting date of a new job, especially if these jobs are permanent. We use a dataset on Slovenian unemployment spells to test this prediction and find supporting evidence. We conclude that the spike in the job finding rate suggests that workers exploit unemployment insurance benefits for subsidized leisure.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Boone & Jan C. van Ours & Jan C. van Ours, 2009. "Why is there a Spike in the Job Finding Rate at Benefit Exhaustion?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2840, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2840
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2840.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 113-118, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Knut Roed & Tao Zhang, 2003. "Does Unemployment Compensation Affect Unemployment Duration?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 190-206, January.
    4. Vodopivec, Milan, 1995. "Unemployment insurance and duration of unemployment : evidence from Slovenia's transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1552, The World Bank.
    5. Moffitt, Robert & Nicholson, Walter, 1982. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance on Unemployment: The Case of Federal Supplemental Benefits," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 1-11, February.
    6. Jan C. van Ours & Milan Vodopivec, 2006. "How Shortening the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits Affects the Duration of Unemployment: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 351-378, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rafael Lalive & Analía Schlosser & Andreas Steinhauer & Josef Zweimüller, 2014. "Parental Leave and Mothers' Careers: The Relative Importance of Job Protection and Cash Benefits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 219-265.
    2. Immervoll, Herwig, 2009. "Minimum-Income Benefits in OECD Countries: Policy Design, Effectiveness and Challenges," IZA Discussion Papers 4627, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Marco Caliendo & Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Arne Uhlendorff, 2013. "Benefit Duration, Unemployment Duration And Job Match Quality: A Regression‐Discontinuity Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4), pages 604-627, June.
    4. Rebollo-Sanz, Yolanda, 2012. "Unemployment insurance and job turnover in Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 403-426.
    5. Bruno Coquet, 2017. "Les allocations chômage devraient-elles être dégressives ?," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2017-01, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    6. Bart Cockx & Muriel Dejemeppe, 2010. "The Threat of Monitoring Job Search. A Discontinuity Design," CESifo Working Paper Series 3267, CESifo.
    7. Regev, Tali, 2012. "Unemployment compensation under partial program coverage," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 888-897.
    8. Yolanda Rebollo-Sanz & J. García-Pérez, 2015. "Are unemployment benefits harmful to the stability of working careers? The case of Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 1-41, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment benefits; spikes;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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