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Unemployment Compensation Finance and Labor Market Rigidity

  • Pierre Cahuc

    (Crest)

  • Franck Malherbet

    (Crest)

The systematic use of experience rating is an original feature of the U.S. unemployment benefit system. In most states, unemployment benefits are financed by taxing firms in proportion to their separations. Experience rating is a way to require employers to contribute to the payment of unemployment benefits they create through their firing decisions. It is striking that experience rating is absent from the unemployment compensation systems of other OECD countries, where benefits are usually financed by taxes on payrolls, paid by employers or employees, and by government contributions (Holmlund, 1998). Is experience rating only adapted to the U.S. labor market? Would it be suitable in other countries? At first glance, it is likely that experience rating is not desirable in many European labor markets characterized by high firing costs. We provide a simple matching model of a rigid labor market including firing costs, temporary jobs and a minimum wage in order to analyze the issue. Our analysis leads us to argue that experience rating is likely to reduce unemployment and to improve the welfare of low skilled workers in France, and more generally for low skilled workers in a typical rigid Continental European labor market.

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Paper provided by Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique in its series Working Papers with number 2001-37.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2001-37
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  1. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2002. "Temporary jobs, employment protection and labor market performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 63-91, February.
  2. Cahuc, Pierre & Zylberberg, Andre, 1999. "Job Protection, Minimum Wage and Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 95, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Albrecht, James W & Vroman, Susan B, 1999. "Unemployment Compensation Finance and Efficiency Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 141-67, January.
  4. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "Job reallocation, employment fluctuations and unemployment," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1171-1228 Elsevier.
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  8. Acemoglu, D. & Shimer, R., 1997. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Working papers 97-9, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Temporary Layoffs in the Theory of Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 937-57, October.
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  12. Anderson, Patricia M & Meyer, Bruce D, 1993. "Unemployment Insurance in the United States: Layoff Incentives and Cross Subsidies," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages S70-95, January.
  13. Farber, Henry S., 1999. "Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2439-2483 Elsevier.
  14. Anderson, Patricia M. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2000. "The effects of the unemployment insurance payroll tax on wages, employment, claims and denials," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 81-106, October.
  15. Cohen, Daniel, 1999. "Welfare differentials across French and US labor markets $e_A general equilibrium interpretation," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9904, CEPREMAP.
  16. Burdett, Kenneth & Wright, Randall, 1989. "Unemployment Insurance and Short-Time Compensation: The Effects on Layoffs, Hours per Worker, and Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1479-96, December.
  17. Nicolas Marceau, 1991. "Unemployment Insurance and Market Structure," Working Papers 833, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  18. Topel, Robert H, 1983. "On Layoffs and Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 541-59, September.
  19. Patricia M. Anderson & Bruce D. Meyer, 1994. "The Effects of Unemployment Insurance Taxes and Benefits on Layoffs Using Firm and Individual Data," NBER Working Papers 4960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  21. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
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