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Benefit Entitlement and the Labor Market: Evidence from a Large-Scale Policy Change

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  • Rafael Lalive
  • Josef Zweimüller

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of the Austrian Regional Extended Benefit Program (REBP) on the labor market outcomes for elderly workers in Austria. The REBP extended entitlement to regular unemployment benefits from 30 weeks to a maximum of 209 weeks for elderly individuals in certain regions. This policy change created a large-scale quasi-experimental situation from which a lot can be learned about the impact of unemployment insurance rules on the dynamics of employment, unemployment, and wages. We find that the REBP led to a tremendous increase in unemployment, which was due to both an increase in the inflow to and the outflow from unemployment. The REBP also induced a strong increase in early retirement and in many cases, in particular for steel workers, entering unemployment meant withdrawal from the labor force. Finally, we show that there were also non-negligible effects of extended benefits on the level and the distribution of wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, 2002. "Benefit Entitlement and the Labor Market: Evidence from a Large-Scale Policy Change," CESifo Working Paper Series 694, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_694
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    Cited by:

    1. Rafael Lalive & Jan Van Ours & Josef Zweimuller, 2006. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 1009-1038.
    2. Lukach, R. & Plasmans, J.E.J., 2002. "Measuring Knowledge Spillovers using Patent Citations : Evidence from the Belgian Firm's Data," Other publications TiSEM d78bf59a-e0ff-4451-86b9-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. Lalive, Rafael & Zweimuller, Josef, 2004. "Benefit entitlement and unemployment duration: The role of policy endogeneity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2587-2616, December.
    4. Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Jan C. Ours, 2014. "Labor Market Effects Of Unemployment Insurance Design," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 284-311, April.
    5. Christensen, Björn, 2003. "Die Reform der Arbeitslosenversicherung im Zuge der Agenda 2010 und ihr Einfluss auf die Arbeitslosigkeitsdauer: Simulationsergebnisse auf Basis der nicht-stationären Suchtheorie," Kiel Working Papers 1171, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    6. Lalive, Rafael, 2008. "How do extended benefits affect unemployment duration A regression discontinuity approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 785-806, February.
    7. Arslan, Yavuz & Taskin, Temel, 2011. "Explaining the gender gaps in unemployment across OECD countries," MPRA Paper 34873, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    quasi-experiments; maximum benefit duration; unemployment inflow; duration of unemployment; early retirement; earnings; inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C4 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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