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Search frictions, real wage rigidities and the optimal design of unemployment insurance

  • Julien Albertini

    (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS : UMR8184 - Université de Cergy Pontoise)

  • Xavier Fairise

    (GAINS - Groupe d'Analyse des Itinéraires et des Niveaux Salariaux - Université du Maine, TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - CNRS : FR3435 - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée (UPEMLV))

In this paper, we study the optimal unemployment benefits financing scheme when the economy is subject to labor market imperfections characterized by real wage rigidities and search frictions. The US unemployment insurance financing is such that firms are taxed proportionately to their layoffs to finance unemployment benefits. Using DSGE methodology, we investigate how policy instruments should interact with labor market imperfections. It is shown that wage rigidities in a search and matching environment cause welfare costs, especially in the absence of an incentive-based unemployment insurance. This cost is mainly due to the distorting effect of wage rigidities which generate inefficient separations. We show that the optimal unemployment benefits financing scheme - corresponding to the Ramsey policy - offsets labor market imperfections and allows implementation of the Pareto allocation. The second-best allocation brings the economy close to the Ramsey allocation. The implementation of the optimal policies clearly highlights the role of labor market institutions for short-run stabilization.

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Date of creation: Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00870055
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  1. Gilles, Joseph & Olivier Pierrard & Henri R. Sneessens, 2003. "Job Turnover, Unemployment and Labor Market Institutions," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2003013, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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  8. Mirko Abbritti; Sebastian Weber, 2008. "Labor Market Rigidities and the Business Cycle: Price vs. Quantity Restricting Institutions," IHEID Working Papers 01-2008, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Jan 2008.
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  12. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  14. Moyen, Stéphane & Stähler, Nikolai, 2009. "Unemployment insurance and the business cycle: prolong benefit entitlements in bad times?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,30, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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  17. L'Haridon, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck, 2006. "Employment Protection Reform in Search Economies," IZA Discussion Papers 2304, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Aysegul Sahin, 2009. "Labor-Market Matching with Precautionary Savings and Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 15282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Blanchard, Olivier & Tirole, Jean, 2006. "The Joint Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection: A First Pass," IDEI Working Papers 258, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  20. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
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  22. Zanetti, Francesco, 2011. "Labor market institutions and aggregate fluctuations in a search and matching model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 644-658, June.
  23. Yann Algan, 2004. "La protection de l'emploi : des vertus stabilisatrices ?," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques v04019, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  24. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Temporary Layoffs in the Theory of Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 937-57, October.
  25. Kai Christoffel & Tobias Linzert, 2010. "The Role of Real Wage Rigidity and Labor Market Frictions for Inflation Persistence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(7), pages 1435-1446, October.
  26. Campolmi, Alessia & Faia, Ester, 2011. "Labor market institutions and inflation volatility in the euro area," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 793-812, May.
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