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A quantitative analysis of unemployment benefit extensions

  • Makoto Nakajima

This paper measures the effect of extensions of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits on the unemployment rate using a calibrated structural model that features job search and consumption-saving decision, skill depreciation, UI eligibility, and UI benefit extensions that capture what has happened during the current downturn. The author finds that the extensions of UI benefits contributed to an increase in the unemployment rate by 1.2 percentage points, which is about a quarter of an observed increase during the current downturn (a 5.1 percentage point increase from 4.8 percent at the end of 2007 to 9.9 percent in the fall of 2009). Among the remaining 3.9 percentage points, 2.4 percentage points are due to the large increase in the separation rate, while the staggering job-finding probability contributes 1.4 percentage points. The last extension in December 2010 moderately slows down the recovery of the unemployment rate. Specifically, the model indicates that the last extension keeps the unemployment rate higher by up to 0.4 percentage point during 2011.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 11-8.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:11-8
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  23. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
  24. Shigeru Fujita, 2010. "Economic effects of the unemployment insurance benefit," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q4, pages 20-27.
  25. Lawrence Katz & Bruce Meyer, 1988. "The Impact of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment," Working Papers 621, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  26. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
  27. Jonathan Gruber, 2001. "The Wealth of the unemployed," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 79-94, October.
  28. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2011. "Job Search, Emotional Well-Being and Job Finding in a Period of Mass Unemployment: Evidence from High-Frequency Longitudinal Data," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 1-81.
  29. Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
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