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A Menu of Insurance Contracts for the Unemployed

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  • Barnichon, Régis
  • Zylberberg, Yanos

Abstract

Unemployment insurance (UI) programs traditionally take the form of a single insurance contract offered to job seekers. In this work, we show that offering a menu of contracts can be welfare improving in the presence of adverse selection and moral hazard. When insurance contracts are composed of (i) a UI payment and (ii) a severance payment paid at the onset of unemployment, offering contracts with different ratios of UI benefits to severance payment is optimal under the equivalent of a single-crossing condition: job seekers in higher need of unemployment insurance should be less prone to moral hazard. In that setting, a menu allows the planner to attract job seekers with a high need for insurance in a contract with generous UI benefits, and to attract job seekers most prone to moral hazard in a separate contract with a large severance payment but little unemployment insurance. We propose a simple sufficient statistics approach to test the single-crossing condition in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Barnichon, Régis & Zylberberg, Yanos, 2019. "A Menu of Insurance Contracts for the Unemployed," CEPR Discussion Papers 13959, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13959
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    Cited by:

    1. Ferey, Antoine, 2022. "Redistribution and Unemployment Insurance," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 345, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adverse Selection; moral hazard; Unemployment insurance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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