IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Incentive Contracts and Efficient Unemployment Benefits

  • Demougin, Dominique
  • Helm, Carsten

Several European countries have reformed their labor market institutions. Incentive effects of unemployment benefits have been an important aspect of these reforms. We analyze this issue in a principal-agent model, focusing on unemployment levels and labor productivity. In our model, a higher level of unemployment benefits improves the worker's position in wage bargaining, leading to stronger effort incentives and higher output. However, it also reduces incentives for labor market participation. Accordingly, there is a trade-off. We analyze how changes in the economic environment such as globalization and better educated workers affect this trade-off.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL) in its series Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics with number 35490.

in new window

Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics . 191 (2008-03)
Handle: RePEc:dar:ddpeco:35490
Note: for complete metadata visit
Contact details of provider: Postal: Hochschulstr. 1, 64289 Darmstadt
Phone: ++49 (0)6151 16-2701
Fax: ++49 (0)6151 16-6508
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Fredriksson, P. & Holmlund, B., 1998. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Papers 1998-2, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Productivity Gains from Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 7352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2004. "Why are European Countries Diverging in their Unemployment Experience?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 49-68, Fall.
  5. Ramon Marimon & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 1997. "Unemployment vs. Mismatch of Talents: Reconsidering Unemployment Benefits," NBER Working Papers 6038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lalive, Rafael & van Ours, Jan C. & Zweimüller, Josef, 2004. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 1363, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Mathis Hungerbühler & Etienne Lehmann, 2007. "On the Optimality of a Minimum Wage : New Insights from Optimal Tax Theory”," Working Papers 2007-17, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  8. Dominique Demougin & Carsten Helm, 2006. "Moral Hazard and Bargaining Power," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7, pages 463-470, November.
  9. Holmlund, B., 1997. "Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Papers 1997-25, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  10. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:40:i:1:p:45-64 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Acemoglu, D. & Shimer, R., 1997. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Working papers 97-9, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Paul L. Burgess & Jerry L. Kingston, 1976. "The impact of unemployment insurance benefits on reemployment success," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(1), pages 25-31, October.
  13. Olivier Blanchard, 2004. "The Economic Future of Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 3-26, Fall.
  14. Goerke, Laszlo, 2000. "On the structure of unemployment benefits in shirking models," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 283-295, May.
  15. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2003. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Working Paper Series 2003:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  16. Pitchford, Rohan, 1998. "Moral hazard and limited liability: The real effects of contract bargaining," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 251-259, November.
  17. Paul R. Milgrom, 1979. "Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Discussion Papers 407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  18. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  19. L. Nunziata, 2002. "Institutions and Wage Determination: A Multi-Country Approach," Working Papers 433, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  20. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen, 1996. "Unemployment insurance with moral hazard in a dynamic economy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-41, June.
  21. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  22. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  23. 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.
  24. Son Ku Kim, 1997. "Limited Liability and Bonus Contracts," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 899-913, December.
  25. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, 01.
  26. P. Diamond, 1980. "Mobility Costs, Frictional Unemployment and Efficiency," Working papers 257, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  27. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2001. "Monitoring versus incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1741-1764, October.
  28. Albert van der Horst, 2003. "Structural Estimates of Equilibrium Unemployment in Six OECD Economies," Economics Working Papers 022, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  29. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  30. Jacobi, Lena & Kluve, Jochen, 2007. "Before and after the Hartz reforms: The performance of active labour market policy in Germany," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 40(1), pages 45-64.
  31. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
  32. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-34, August.
  33. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521576475 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dar:ddpeco:35490. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dekanatssekretariat)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.