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Unemployment Insurance Take-up Rates in an Equilibrium Search Model

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Abstract

In the US unemployment insurance (UI) system, only a fraction of those eligible for benefits actually collect them. We estimate this fraction using CPS data and detailed state-level eligibility criteria. We find that the fraction of eligible unemployed collecting benefits has been persistently below one, and is countercyclical. We show these empirical facts can be explained in an equilibrium search model where firms finance UI benefits via a payroll tax, and are heterogeneous with respect to their specific tax rate, which is experience rated. In equilibrium, low tax firms effectively offer workers an alternative UI scheme featuring a faster job arrival rate and a higher wage offer. Some eligible workers prefer the ``market'' scheme and thus do not collect UI. Quantitatively, the model does well matching key moments in the data. In addition, if all eligible unemployed collect, benefit expenditures increase by 29% and welfare increases by 0.43%. Average search effort decreases, but the unemployment rate and duration decrease as vacancy creation increases.

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  • David Fuller & Stephane Auray & Damba Lkhagvasuren, 2013. "Unemployment Insurance Take-up Rates in an Equilibrium Search Model," Working Papers 13001, Concordia University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:crd:wpaper:13001
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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. Nakajima, Makoto, 2012. "A quantitative analysis of unemployment benefit extensions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 686-702.
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    16. Paul Gomme & Damba Lkhagvasuren, 2013. "Calibration and simulation of DSGE models," Chapters, in: Nigar Hashimzade & Michael A. Thornton (ed.), Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Empirical Macroeconomics, chapter 24, pages 575-592, Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Two papers on unemployment insurance and misallocation
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2018-03-05 09:53:24
    2. Unemployment Insurance Take-up Rates in an Equilibrium Search Model
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2018-11-16 21:29:32

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Minjoon Lee & Jinhui Bai & Fudong Zhang & Ruediger Bachmann, 2014. "The Welfare Costs of Fiscal Uncertainty: a Quantitative Evaluation," 2014 Meeting Papers 744, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Fuller, David L., 2014. "Adverse selection and moral hazard: Quantitative implications for unemployment insurance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 108-122.
    3. Julien Albertini & Xavier Fairise & Anthony Terriau, 2020. "Unemployment insurance, Recalls and Experience Rating," Working Papers halshs-02559317, HAL.
    4. Ruediger Bachmann & Jinhui Bai & Minjoon Lee & Fudong Zhang, . "The Welfare and Distributional Effects of Fiscal Volatility: a Quantitative Evaluation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Xie, Zoe, 2019. "Delayed collection of unemployment insurance in recessions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 274-295.
    6. Serdar Birinci & Kurt Gerrard See, 2018. "How Should Unemployment Insurance vary over the Business Cycle?," 2018 Meeting Papers 69, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Zoe Xie, 2019. "Delayed Collection of Unemployment Insurance in Recessions," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2019-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    8. Brendan Moore & Judith Scott-Clayton, 2019. "The Firm's Role in Displaced Workers' Earnings Losses," NBER Working Papers 26525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen D., 2002. "Moral hazard, optimal unemployment insurance, and experience rating," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1337-1371, October.
    10. Stéphane Auray & David L. Fuller, 2018. "Eligibility, Experience Rating, and Unemployment Insurance Take-up," Working Papers 2018-18, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    11. Engelhardt, Bryan & Rupert, Peter, 2017. "Competitive versus random search with bargaining: An empirical comparison," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 183-197.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment insurance; take-up; matching frictions; search;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • 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

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