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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 & Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil & van Ours, Jan C., 2001. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Monitoring and Sanctions," IZA Discussion Papers 401, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. Boone, Jan & Bovenberg, A Lans, 2002. "The Optimal Taxation of Unskilled Labour with Job Search and Social Assistance," CEPR Discussion Papers 3446, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Boone, J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 2000. "Optimal Labour Taxation and Search," Discussion Paper 2000-17, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Mathias, HUNGERBUELHER & Etienne, LEHMANN & Alexis PARMENTIER & Bruno VAN DER LINDEN, 2003. "Optimal Income Taxation in an Equilibrium Unemployment Model : Mirrlees meets Pissarides," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2003024, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  7. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 1998. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Working Paper Series 1998:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  8. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd, 2000. "Is tax progression really good for employment? A model with endogenous hours of work," Munich Reprints in Economics 20296, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Manning, Alan, 2004. "Monopsony and the efficiency of labour market interventions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 145-163, April.
  10. Jan Boone & Ruud de Mooij, 2000. "Tax policy in a model of search with training," CPB Research Memorandum 161, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  11. Pissarides, Christopher A., 1998. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages; The role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-183, January.
  12. 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.
  13. Holmlund, B. & Kolm, A.S., 1995. "Progressive Taxation, Wage Setting, and Unemployment , Theory and Swedish Evidence," Papers 1995-15, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  14. Holmlund, B., 1997. "Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Papers 1997-25, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  15. Jan Boone & Jan C. van Ours, 2000. "Modeling Financial Incentives to Get Unemployed Back to Work," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0973, Econometric Society.
  16. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
  17. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
  18. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 1635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," NBER Working Papers 7708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
  23. Sorensen, Peter Birch, 1999. "Optimal tax progressivity in imperfect labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 435-452, September.
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