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How Effective Are Unemployment Benefit Sanctions?

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  • Arni, Patrick
  • Lalive, Rafael
  • van Ours, Jan C

Abstract

This paper provides a comprehensive evaluation of benefit sanctions, i.e. temporary reductions in unemployment benefits as punishment for noncompliance with eligibility requirements. In addition to the effects on unemployment durations, we evaluate the effects on post-unemployment employment stability, on exits from the labor market and on earnings. In our analysis we use a rich set of Swiss register data which allow us to distinguish between ex ante effects, the effects of warnings and the effects of enforcement of benefit sanctions. Adopting a multivariate mixed proportional hazard approach to address selectivity, we find that both warnings and enforcement increase the job finding rate and the exit rate out of the labor force. Warnings do not affect subsequent employment stability but do reduce post-unemployment earnings. Actual benefit reductions lower the quality of post-unemployment jobs both in terms of job duration as well as in terms of earnings. The net effect of a benefit sanction on post-unemployment income is negative. Over a period of two years after leaving unemployment workers who got a benefit sanction imposed face a net income loss equivalent to 30 days of full pay due to the ex post effect. In addition to that, stricter monitoring may reduce net earnings by up to 4 days of pay for every unemployed worker due to the ex ante effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Arni, Patrick & Lalive, Rafael & van Ours, Jan C, 2009. "How Effective Are Unemployment Benefit Sanctions?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7541, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7541
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Picchio, Matteo, 2012. "Lagged duration dependence in mixed proportional hazard models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 108-110.
    2. Beatrix Eugster, 2015. "Effects of a Higher Replacement Rate on Unemployment Durations, Employment, and Earnings," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 151(I), pages 3-25, March.
    3. Boockmann, Bernhard & Osiander, Christopher & Stops, Michael & Verbeek, Hans, 2013. "Effekte von Vermittlerhandeln und Vermittlerstrategien im SGB II und SGB III (Pilotstudie) : Abschlussbericht an das IAB durch das Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung e. V. (IAW), Tübingen," IAB-Forschungsbericht 201307, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. Boss, Alfred & Christensen, Björn & Schrader, Klaus, 2010. "Die Hartz IV-Falle: Wenn Arbeit nicht mehr lohnt," Kiel Discussion Papers 474/475, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Anne C. Gielen & Jan C. Ours, 2014. "Unhappiness and Job Finding," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(323), pages 544-565, July.
    6. Per Engström & Pathric Hägglund & Per Johansson, 2017. "Early Interventions and Disability Insurance: Experience from a Field Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(600), pages 363-392, March.
    7. Bart Cockx & Muriel Dejemeppe, 2010. "The Threat of Monitoring Job Search. A Discontinuity Design," CESifo Working Paper Series 3267, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Hofmann Barbara, 2012. "Short- and Long-term Ex-Post Effects of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions: Evidence from West Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(1), pages 31-60, February.
    9. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2013. "Long-term absenteeism and moral hazard—Evidence from a natural experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 277-292.
    10. Gautier, Pieter A. & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2009. "Institutions and labor market outcomes in the Netherlands," Working Paper Series 2009:28, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    11. Muriel Dejemeppe & Bruno Van der Linden & Andrey Launov & Bart Cockx, 2011. "Monitoring and Sanctions in a Non-Stationary Structural Job-Search Model," 2011 Meeting Papers 501, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Benefit sanctions; competing-risk duration models; earnings effects; unemployment duration;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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