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Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard: Quantitative Implications for Unemployment Insurance

I construct a dynamic contracting model of optimal unemployment insurance with adverse selection and moral hazard that captures the transition from unemployment to non-participation observed in the data, which the standard moral hazard model fails to capture. My model generates both qualitative and quantitative implications for the optimal provision of unemployment insurance. Qualitatively, for some agents, incentives in the optimal contract imply consumption increases over the duration of non-employment. Quantitatively, I compare the current U.S. system to the optimal one, and find large cost savings to adopting the optimal contract. The optimal contract achieves an additional 46% of cost savings relative to a planner who ignores adverse selection and focuses only on moral hazard. I also find the current transition from unemployment to non-participation to be efficient, and when compared to the current U.S. system, the optimal contract implies agents experiencing a long spell of non-participation have consumption increasing over the spell.

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Paper provided by Concordia University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 12004.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision: Sep 2011
Handle: RePEc:crd:wpaper:12004
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  1. Robert Shimer & Iván Werning, 2006. "On the Optimal Timing of Benefits with Heterogeneous Workers and Human Capital Depreciation," NBER Working Papers 12230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pietro Garibaldi & Etienne Wasmer, 2005. "Equilibrium Search Unemployment, Endogenous Participation, And Labor Market Flows," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 851-882, 06.
  3. Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
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  8. Narayana Kocherlakota, 2004. "Figuring out the Impact of Hidden Savings on Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(3), pages 541-554, July.
  9. Hagedorn, Marcus & Kaul, Ashok & Mennel, Tim, 2002. "An Adverse Selection Model of Optimal Unemployment Insurance," IZA Discussion Papers 681, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Gautier, Pieter A & Moraga-González, José-Luis & Wolthoff, Ronald, 2007. "Structural Estimation of Search Intensity: Do Non-Employed Workers Search Enough?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6440, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen D., 2002. "Moral Hazard, Optimal Unemployment Insurance and Experience Rating," Staff General Research Papers 10133, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  12. Steven Shavell & Laurence Weiss, 1978. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 503, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Blank, Rebecca M & Card, David E, 1991. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1157-89, November.
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  18. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8921 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Stéphane Auray & David L. Fuller & damba Lkhagvasuren, 2013. "Unemployment Insurance Take-up Rate"s in an Equilibrium Search Model," Working Papers 2013-12, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  20. Pries, Michael & Rogerson, Richard, 2009. "Search frictions and labor market participation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 568-587, July.
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  23. Yuzhe Zhang & Matthew Mitchell, 2007. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Hidden Trade," 2007 Meeting Papers 1023, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  24. Nicola Pavoni, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance, With Human Capital Depreciation, And Duration Dependence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 323-362, 05.
  25. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E Lucas, 2010. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2179, David K. Levine.
  26. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2008. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1653-74, September.
  27. Carl Davidson & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1997. "The Optimal Dole with Risk Aversion, Job Destruction, and Worker Heterogeneity," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 97-47, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  28. Andolfatto, David & Gomme, Paul, 1996. "Unemployment insurance and labor-market activity in Canada," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 47-82, June.
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