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Unemployment benefits and unemployment in the Great Recession: the role of macro effects

  • Hagedorn, Marcus

    ()

    (University of Oslo)

  • Karahan, Fatih

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Manovskii, Iourii

    ()

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Mitman, Kurt

    ()

    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

We exploit a policy discontinuity at U.S. state borders to identify the labor market implications of unemployment benefit extensions. In contrast to the existing literature that focused on estimating the effects of benefit duration on job search decisions by the unemployed—the micro effect—we are guided by equilibrium labor market theory and focus on measuring the general equilibrium macro effect that operates through the response of job creation to benefit extensions. After developing a new methodology to measure the macro effect, we find that it is this effect that is very important quantitatively. In particular, benefit extensions raise equilibrium wages and lead to a sharp contraction in vacancy creation, lower employment, and a rise in unemployment.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 646.

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Length: 77 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision: 01 Feb 2015
Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:646
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  1. Donald W.K. Andrews, 2004. "Cross-section Regression with Common Shocks," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm401, Yale School of Management.
  2. Casey B. Mulligan, 2010. "Foreclosures, Enforcement, and Collections under the Federal Mortgage Modification Guidelines," NBER Working Papers 15777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Casey B. Mulligan, 2009. "Means-Tested Mortgage Modification: Homes Saved or Income Destroyed?," NBER Working Papers 15281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
  16. Dube, Andrajit & Lester, T. William & Reich, Michael, 2010. "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt86w5m90m, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  17. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
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