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Equilibrium Unemployment Insurance

Author

Listed:
  • Hassler, John

    () (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

  • Mora, José

    () (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

  • Storesletten, Kjetil

    () (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

  • Zilibotti, Fabrizio

    () (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

Abstract

In this paper, we introduce a positive theory of unemployement insurance into a dynamic overlapping generations model with search-matching frictions and on-the-job learning-by-doing. The model shows that societies populated by identical rational agents, but differing in the initial distribution of human capital accross agents, may choose very different unemployment insurance levels into a politico-economic equilibrium. The interaction between the political decision about the level of the unemployment insurance and the optimal search behavior of the unemployed gives rise to a self-reinforcing mechanism which may generate multiple steady-state equilibria. In particular, a European-type steady-state with high unemployment, low employment turnover and high insurance can co-exist with an American-type steady state with low unemployment, high employment turnover and low unemployment insurance. A calibrated version of the model features two distinct steady-state equilibria with unemployment levels and duration rates resembling those of the US and Europe respectively.

Suggested Citation

  • Hassler, John & Mora, José & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1999. "Equilibrium Unemployment Insurance," Seminar Papers 665, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0665
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2000. "The First Year of the Eurosystem: Inflation Targeting or Not?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 95-99, May.
    2. Vodopivec, Milan & Raju, Dhushyanth, 2002. "Income support systems for the unemployed : issues and options," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 25529, The World Bank.
    3. Assar Lindbeck, 2002. "Pensions and Contemporary Socioeconomic Change," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Pension Reform in Europe, pages 19-48 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Stephane Pallage & Christian Zimmermann, 1999. "Heterogeneous Labor Markets and the Generosity Towards the Unemployed: An International Perspective," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 88, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
    5. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2003. "The Survival of the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 87-112, March.
    6. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2002. "Informal Family Insurance And The Design Of The Welfare State," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 481-503, July.
    7. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2005. "The consequences of labor market flexibility: Panel evidence based on survey data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1225-1259, July.
    8. Persson, Mats, 2000. "Five Fallacies in the Social Security Debate," Seminar Papers 686, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    9. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2006. "Europe vs America: Institutional hysteresis in a simple normative model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2161-2186, December.
    10. Gould, Eric D & Moav, Omer & Weinberg, Bruce A, 2001. "Precautionary Demand for Education, Inequality, and Technological Progress," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 285-315, December.
    11. Lindbeck, A. & Wikstrom, S., 1999. "The ICT Revoluation in Consumer Product Markets," Papers 670, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Comparative Advatage; Employment; Political Equilibrium; Search; Specialization; Unemployment Insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • 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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