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Eligibility, experience rating, and unemployment insurance take‐up

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  • Stéphane Auray

    (OFCE - Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po)

  • David L. Fuller

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the causes and consequences of "unclaimed" unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. A search model is developed where the costs to collecting UI benefits include both a traditional "fixed" administrative cost and an endogenous cost arising from worker and firm interactions. Experience rated taxes give firms an incentive to challenge a worker's UI claim, and these challenges are costly for the worker. Exploiting data on improper denials of UI benefits across states in the U.S. system, a two-way fixed effects analysis shows a statistically significant negative relationship between the improper denials and the UI take-up rate, providing empirical support for our model. We calibrate the model to elasticities implied by the two-way fixed effects regression to quantify the relative size of these UI collection costs. The results imply that on average the costs associated with firm challenges of UI claims account for 41% of the total costs of collecting, with improper denials accounting for 8% of the total cost. The endogenous collection costs imply the unemployment rate responds much slower to changes in UI benefits relative to a model with fixed collection costs. Finally, removing all eligibility requirements and allowing workers to collect UI benefits without cost shows these costs to be 4,5% of expected output net of vacancy costs. Moreover, this change has minimal impact on the unemployment rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Stéphane Auray & David L. Fuller, 2020. "Eligibility, experience rating, and unemployment insurance take‐up," Post-Print hal-03385921, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-03385921
    DOI: 10.3982/QE940
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://sciencespo.hal.science/hal-03385921
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    6. Stéphane Auray & David L. Fuller, 2020. "Eligibility, experience rating, and unemployment insurance take‐up," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), pages 1059-1107, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stéphane Auray & David L. Fuller, 2020. "Eligibility, experience rating, and unemployment insurance take‐up," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), pages 1059-1107, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Albertini, Julien & Fairise, Xavier & Terriau, Anthony, 2023. "Unemployment insurance, recalls, and experience rating," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    4. Mark Duggan & Audrey Guo & Andrew C. Johnston, 2023. "Experience Rating as an Automatic Stabilizer," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 109-133.
    5. Guo, Audrey & Johnston, Andrew C., 2020. "The Finance of Unemployment Compensation and its Consequence for the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 13330, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/5f63rk8j8i8vlpr3b1ernvsg0u is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment insurance; Take-up rate; Experience rating; Matching frictions; Search;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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