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Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium

Author

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  • Fredriksson, Peter

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Holmlund, Bertil

    () (Department of Economics)

Abstract

Should unemployment compensation be paid indefinitely at a fixed rate or should it decline (or increase) over a worker’s unemployment spell? We examine these issues using an equilibrium model of search unemployment. The model features worker-firm bargaining over wages, free entry of new jobs, and endogenous search effort among the unemployed. The main result is that an optimal insurance program implies a declining sequence of unemployment compensation over the spell of unemployment. Numerical calibrations of the model suggest that there are non-trivial welfare gains associated with switching from an optimal uniform benefit structure to an optimally differentiated system.

Suggested Citation

  • Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 1998. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Working Paper Series 1998:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:1998_002
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job search; Unemployment; Unemployment insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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