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Recent extensions of U.S. unemployment benefits: search responses in alternative labor market states

  • Valletta, Robert G.

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

In response to the 2007-09 “Great Recession,” the maximum duration of U.S. unemployment benefits was increased from the normal level of 26 weeks to an unprecedented 99 weeks. I estimate the impact of these extensions on job search, comparing them with the more limited extensions associated with the milder 2001 recession. The analyses rely on monthly matched microdata from the Current Population Survey. I find that a 10-week extension of UI benefits raises unemployment duration by about 1.5 weeks, with little variation across the two episodes. This estimate lies in the middle-to-upper end of the range of past estimates.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2014-13.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: May 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2014-13
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  1. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 173-234, 04.
  2. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 113-118, May.
  3. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till M. von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2012. "The Effects of Extended Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over Twenty Years," NBER Working Papers 17813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Optimal unemployment insurance over the business cycle," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35596, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Jesse Rothstein, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(2 (Fall)), pages 143-213.
  6. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1995. "Unemployment Benefits and Labor Market Transitions: A Multinomial Logit Model with Errors in Classification," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 207-16, May.
  7. Stepan Jurajda & Frederick J. Tannery, 2001. "Unemployment Durations and Extended Unemployment Benefits in Local Labor Markets," Labor and Demography 0012006, EconWPA.
  8. David Card & Phillip B. Levine, 1998. "Extended Benefits and the Duration of UI Spells: Evidence from the New Jersey Extended Benefit Program," NBER Working Papers 6714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lalive, Rafael & Landais, Camille & Zweimüller, Josef, 2013. "Market Externalities of Large Unemployment Insurance Extension Programs," CEPR Discussion Papers 9673, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Lawrence F. Katz & Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "The Impact of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 2741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jeremy Schwartz, 2013. "Do temporary extensions to unemployment insurance benefits matter? The effects of the US standby extended benefit program," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(9), pages 1167-1183, March.
  12. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2012. "The Effects of Extended Unemployment Insurance Over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over 20 Years," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 701-752.
  13. Phillip B. Levine, 1993. "Spillover effects between the insured and uninsured unemployed," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(1), pages 73-86, October.
  14. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
  15. Rothstein, Jesse & Valletta, Robert G., 2014. "Scraping by: Income and program participation after the loss of extended unemployment benefits," Working Paper Series 2014-6, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  16. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-83, June.
  17. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  18. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "Reporting Errors and Labor Market Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1319-38, November.
  19. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "A Macroeconomic Theory of Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 16526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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