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Unemployment insurance in the presence of an informal

Author

Listed:
  • David Bardey
  • Fermando Jaramillo
  • Ximena Pena

Abstract

We study the effect of UI benefits in a typical developing country where the informal sector is sizeable and persistent. In a partial equilibrium environment, ruling out the macroeconomic consequences of UI benefits, we characterize the stationary equilibrium of an economy where policyholders may be employed in the formal sector, short-run unemployed receiving UI benefits or long-run unemployed without UI benefits. We perform comparative static exercises to understand how UI benefits affect unemployed workers' effort to secure a formal job, their labor supply in the informal sector and leisure time. Our model reveals that an increase in UI benefits generates two opposing effects for the short-run unemployed. First, since search efforts cannot be monitored it generates moral hazard behaviours that lower effort. Second, it generates an income effect as it reduces the marginal cost of searching for a formal job and increases effort. The overall effect is ambiguous and depends on the relative strength of these two e§ects. Additionally, we show that an increase in UI benefits increases the efforts of long-run unemployed workers. We provide a simple simulation exercise which suggests that the income effect pointed out is not necessarily of second-order importance in comparison with moral hazard strength. This result softens the widespread opinion, usually based on the microeconomic/partial equilibrium argument that the presence of dual labor markets is an obstacle to providing UI in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • David Bardey & Fermando Jaramillo & Ximena Pena, 2013. "Unemployment insurance in the presence of an informal," Documentos de Trabajo 011014, Universidad del Rosario.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000092:011014
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    File URL: http://repository.urosario.edu.co/bitstream/handle/10336/10860/11014.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877.
    2. Bosch, Mariano & Esteban-Pretel, Julen, 2012. "Job creation and job destruction in the presence of informal markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 270-286.
    3. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2001. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 370-399, April.
    4. Hansen, Gary D & Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 118-142, February.
    5. Álvarez-Parra, Fernando & Sánchez, Juan M., 2009. "Unemployment insurance with a hidden labor market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 954-967, October.
    6. Issler, João Victor & Piqueira, Natalia Scotto, 2000. "Estimating Relative Risk Aversion, the Discount Rate, and the Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution in Consumption for Brazil Using Three Types of Utility Function," Brazilian Review of Econometrics, Sociedade Brasileira de Econometria - SBE, vol. 20(2), November.
    7. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard vs. Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 13967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Mazza, Jacqueline, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance: Case Studies and Lessons for Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1311, Inter-American Development Bank.
    9. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-438, April.
    10. Jacqueline Mazza, 2000. "Unemployment Insurance: Case Studies and Lessons for Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6460, Inter-American Development Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Romain Duval & Prakash Loungani, 2021. "Designing Labor Market Institutions in Emerging Market and Developing Economies: A Review of Evidence and IMF Policy Advice," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 63(1), pages 31-83, March.
    2. Carmen UZLAU & Mariana BALAN & Corina-Maria ENE, 2017. "Labour Market Vulnerabilities In Romania During The Post- Crisis Period," Internal Auditing and Risk Management, Athenaeum University of Bucharest, vol. 46(2), pages 12-27, June.
    3. Iain W. Long & Vito Polito, 2017. "Job Search, Unemployment Protection and Informal Work in Advanced Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 6763, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment insurance; informal sector; income e§ect; developingcountries;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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