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Incentive and Insurance Effects of Tax Financed Unemployment Insurance

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  • Andersen, Torben M

Abstract

The potential distortions of job-search incentives caused by unemployment benefits and their financing are well known. However, a benefit-tax scheme also provides insurance having direct utility effects as well as indirect effects on risk taking. The latter mitigates or may even dominate standard incentive effects to produce a non-monotone relation between efficiency (incentives) and equity (insurance). This implies that an increase in both benefits and the tax rate up to some point may increase average income and reduce inequality, i.e., there is not necessarily a trade-off between considerations for efficiency and equity. However, optimal utilitarian policies always position the economy at a point where marginal policy changes involve a trade-off, otherwise policies would not be optimal.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersen, Torben M, 2010. "Incentive and Insurance Effects of Tax Financed Unemployment Insurance," CEPR Discussion Papers 8025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8025
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 2000. "Productivity gains from unemployment insurance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1195-1224, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Bertola & Anna Lo Prete, 2015. "Reforms, Finance, and Current Accounts," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 469-488, August.
    2. Giuseppe Bertola, 2014. "Labor market policies and European crises," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-11, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    incentives; risk sharing; Search; unemployment benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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