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Unemployment Benefits and the Persistence of European Unemployment

  • Ortigueira, Salvador

    (Cornell U)

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    In this paper, we present a model of labor search in order to assess the role played by unemployment benefits in the increase of European unemployment since the mid 70's. Our main finding is that although benefits may reduce unemployment, they increase the vulnerability of the economy to employment shocks, which may result in a permanent increase in the rate of unemployment. The novel ingredient in our analysis is the simultaneous consideration of capital investment decisions and time allocation decisions. In so doing, we take into account the feedback between economic growth and unemployment. The predictions of our model provide some rationale for patterns in unemployment, capital accumulation and growth rates observed in some European countries.

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    File URL: https://cae.economics.cornell.edu/benefits.pdf
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    Paper provided by Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics in its series Working Papers with number 01-16.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:01-16
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    1. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, . "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," Working Papers 122, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    2. Gilles Saint-Paul, 1995. "The High Unemployment Trap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 527-550.
    3. Balakrishnan, Ravi & Michelacci, Claudio, 2001. "Unemployment dynamics across OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 135-165, January.
    4. Acemoglu, D. & Shimer, R., 1997. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Working papers 97-9, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
    9. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 514-550, June.
    10. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1997. "The Impact of Employment Tax Cuts on Unemployment and Wages: The Role of Unemployment Benefits and Tax Structure," CEP Discussion Papers dp0361, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. David T. Coe & Dennis J. Snower, 1997. "Policy Complementarities: The Case for Fundamental Labor Market Reform," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 1-35, March.
    12. Howitt, Peter & McAfee, R Preston, 1987. "Costly Search and Recruiting," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 89-107, February.
    13. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Credit market imperfections and persistent unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 665-679, May.
    14. 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.
    15. Oliver Hart, 1982. "A Model of Imperfect Competition with Keynesian Features," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(1), pages 109-138.
    16. Christian Haefke, 2001. "Shocks and institutions in a job matching model," Economics Working Papers 568, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2001.
    17. Eichenbaum, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter, 1990. "Estimating Models with Intertemporal Substitution Using Aggregate Time Series Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(1), pages 53-69, January.
    18. Mortensen, Dale T, 1999. "Equilibrium Unemployment Dynamics," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 889-914, November.
    19. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1992. "Loss of Skill During Unemployment and the Persistence of Employment Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1371-1391.
    20. David Easley & Nicholas M. Kiefer & Uri Possen, 1985. "An Equilibrium Analysis of Optimal Unemployment Insurance and Taxation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 989-1010.
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