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Optimal labor-market policy in recessions

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  • Philip Jung
  • Keith Kuester

Abstract

The authors examine the optimal labor market-policy mix over the business cycle. In a search and matching model with risk-averse workers, endogenous hiring and separation, and unobservable search effort they first show how to decentralize the constrained-efficient allocation. This can be achieved by a combination of a production tax and three labor-market policy instruments, namely, a vacancy subsidy, a layoff tax and unemployment benefits. The authors derive analytical expressions for the optimal setting of each of these for the steady state and for the business cycle. Their propositions suggest that hiring subsidies, layoff taxes and the replacement rate of unemployment insurance should all rise in recessions. The authors find this confirmed in a calibration targeted to the U.S. economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Jung & Keith Kuester, 2011. "Optimal labor-market policy in recessions," Working Papers 11-48, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:11-48
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marcelo Veracierto, 2008. "Firing Costs And Business Cycle Fluctuations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 1-39, February.
    2. Haefke, Christian & Sonntag, Marcus & van Rens, Thijs, 2013. "Wage rigidity and job creation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 887-899.
    3. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
    4. Landais, Camille & Michaillat, Pascal & Saez, Emmanuel, 2010. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 8132, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jean Tirole, 2008. "The Joint Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection: A First Pass," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 45-77, March.
    6. Kurt Mitman & Stanislav Rabinovich, 2011. "Pro-Cyclical Unemployment Benefits? Optimal Policy in an Equilibrium Business Cycle Model," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-010, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    7. Ch. Pissarides., 2011. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
    8. Cahuc, Pierre & Zylberberg, André, 2008. "Optimum income taxation and layoff taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2003-2019, October.
    9. David Domeij, 2005. "Optimal Capital Taxation and Labor Market Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 623-650, July.
    10. Silva, José Ignacio & Toledo, Manuel, 2009. "Labor Turnover Costs And The Cyclical Behavior Of Vacancies And Unemployment," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(S1), pages 76-96, May.
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    12. 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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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Optimal labor-market policy in recessions
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2011-12-22 10:19:47

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Boeri, Tito & Jimeno, Juan Francisco, 2015. "The unbearable divergence of unemployment in Europe," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65001, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Ricardo Reis & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Optimal Automatic Stabilizers," 2015 Meeting Papers 608, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Serdar Birinci & Kurt Gerrard See, 2018. "How Should Unemployment Insurance vary over the Business Cycle?," 2018 Meeting Papers 69, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. l'Haridon, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck & Pérez-Duarte, Sébastien, 2013. "Does bargaining matter in the small firms matching model?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 42-58.
    5. Chugh, Sanjay K. & Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Merkl, Christian, 2018. "Optimal fiscal policy with labor selection," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 142-189.
    6. Marius Clemens & Guillaume Claveres, 2017. "Unemployment Insurance Union," 2017 Meeting Papers 1340, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Andrea Bassanini & Giorgio Brunello & Eve Caroli, 2017. "Not in My Community: Social Pressure and the Geography of Dismissals," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 429-483.
    8. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen D., 2002. "Moral hazard, optimal unemployment insurance, and experience rating," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1337-1371, October.
    9. repec:eee:moneco:v:94:y:2018:i:c:p:41-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bassanini, Andrea, 2015. "A Bitter Medicine? Short-term Employment Impact of Deregulation in Network Industries," IZA Discussion Papers 9187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Cacciatore, Matteo & Duval, Romain & Fiori, Giuseppe & Ghironi, Fabio, 2016. "Market reforms in the time of imbalance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 69-93.
    12. Pei, Yun & Xie, Zoe, 2016. "A Quantitative Theory of Time-Consistent Unemployment Insurance," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2016-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, revised 01 Dec 2017.
    13. Boeri, Tito & Jimeno, Juan F., 2016. "Learning from the Great Divergence in unemployment in Europe during the crisis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 32-46.
    14. Stähler, Nikolai & Moyen, Stephane & Winkler, Fabian, 2016. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance and International Risk Sharing," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145612, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Parkhomenko, Andrii, 2016. "Opportunity to Move: Macroeconomic Effects of Relocation Subsidies," MPRA Paper 75256, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Xie, Zoe, 2015. "Delayed Collection of Unemployment Insurance during Recessions," MPRA Paper 76564, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Mitman, Kurt & Rabinovich, Stanislav, 2015. "Optimal unemployment insurance in an equilibrium business-cycle model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 99-118.
    18. Mangin, Sephorah & Sedláček, Petr, 2018. "Unemployment and the labor share," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 41-59.
    19. Michau, Jean-Baptiste, 2015. "Optimal labor market policy with search frictions and risk-averse workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 93-107.
    20. Pei, Yun & Xie, Zoe, 2016. "Government Commitment and Unemployment Insurance Over the Business Cycle," MPRA Paper 76563, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment ; Labor market ; Business cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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