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On the optimality of search matching equilibrium when workers are risk averse

  • Etienne LEHMANN

    (Creuset, Université de Saint-Etienne, and Eurequa, Université Paris 1 and Ermes, Université Paris 2)

  • Bruno VAN DER LINDEN

    (FNRS - Belgium and UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) - Belgium)

This papers revisits the normative properties of search-matching economies when workers have concave utility functions. A general equilibrium framework is developed where agents are homogeneous and wages are bargained over. Assuming lump-sum taxation of profits, the optimal allocation of resources is characterized first when information is perfect and second when unemployed people freely choose their search effort. Compared to the first case, the optimum is characterized by imperfect unemployment insurance and lower levels of search intensity and output in the second setting. To decenralize these optima, employees should be unable to extract a rent when information is perfect. An appropriate positive rent is however needed in the second case. When the bargaining power of the workers is given, these outcomes can be implemented through a well-designed non-linear tax schedule and an appropriate level of unemployment benefits. According to the level of the bargaining power, taxation can be progressive or regressive. Negative marginal tax rates are even needed for sufficiently low levels of the bargaining power.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2002023.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2002023
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  1. Boone, Jan & van Ours, Jan C, 2000. "Modelling Financial Incentives To Get Unemployed Back To Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 2361, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Rosen, Sherwin, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 1144-75, September.
  3. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2000. "Looking into the black box: a survey of the matching function," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2122, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Holmlund, B. & Kolm, A.S., 1995. "Progressive Taxation, Wage Setting and Unemployment - Theory and Swedish Evidence," Papers 15, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  5. Jan Boone & Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund & Jan C. van Ours, 2001. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Monitoring and Sanctions," CESifo Working Paper Series 616, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Boone, J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 2000. "Optimal Labour Taxation and Search," Discussion Paper 2000-17, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. M. Hungerbühler & E. Lehmann & A. Parmentier & P. Van Der Linden, 2003. "Optimal Income Taxation in an Equilibrium Unemployment Model : Mirrlees meets Pissarides," Working Papers ERMES 0306, ERMES, University Paris 2.
  8. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  9. Manning, Alan, 2004. "Monopsony and the efficiency of labour market interventions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 145-163, April.
  10. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073, August.
  11. Christopher Pissarides, 1997. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages : the role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2332, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Jan Boone & Lans Bovenberg, 2003. "The Optimal Taxation of Unskilled Labor with Job Search and Social Assistance," NBER Working Papers 9785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  14. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-62, December.
  15. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2001. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 370-99, April.
  16. Jan Boone & Ruud A. De Mooij, 2000. "Tax Policy in a Model of Search with Training," CESifo Working Paper Series 232, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Robin Boadway & Katherine Cuff, 1999. "Monitoring Job Search as an Instrument for Targeting Transfers," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 71, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  18. repec:dgr:kubcen:200017 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Cahuc, Pierre & Lehmann, Etienne, 2000. "Should unemployment benefits decrease with the unemployment spell?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 135-153, July.
  20. Holmlund, B., 1997. "Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 380, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  21. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd, 2000. "Is tax progression really good for employment? A model with endogenous hours of work," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 79-93, January.
  22. Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1999. "Optimal tax progressivity in imperfect labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 435-452, September.
  23. Lockwood, Ben & Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage setting and the tax system theory and evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-29, August.
  24. 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.
  25. repec:dgr:kubcen:200185 is not listed on IDEAS
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