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Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium

  • Fredriksson, Peter

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

  • Holmlund, Bertil

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

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.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 1998:2.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 19 Jan 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Labor Economics, 2001, pages 370-399.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:1998_002
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/Email:


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  1. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Steve, 1996. "Unemployment Insurance with Moral Hazard in a Dynamic Economy," Staff General Research Papers 5088, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Rubinstein, Ariel & Wolinsky, Asher, 1985. "Equilibrium in a Market with Sequential Bargaining," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 1133-50, September.
  3. Jonathan Wadsworth, 1992. "Unemployment Benefits and Labour Market Transitions in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0073, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Flemming, J. S., 1978. "Aspects of optimal unemployment insurance : Search, leisure, savings and capital market imperfections," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 403-425, December.
  5. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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  7. Carl Davidson & Stephen A. Woodbury, . "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles cdsaw1997, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  8. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
  9. Holmlund, B., 1997. "Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 380, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  10. Gary D. Hansen & Ayse Imrohoroglu, 1990. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," UCLA Economics Working Papers 583, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-62, December.
  12. Atkinson, Anthony B & Micklewright, John, 1991. "Unemployment Compensation and Labor Market Transitions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1679-1727, December.
  13. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  14. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  15. Farber, Henry S, 1978. "Individual Preferences and Union Wage Determination: The Case of the United Mine Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 923-42, October.
  16. Jones, Stephen R G, 1989. "Job Research Methods, Intensity and Effects," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(3), pages 277-96, August.
  17. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, March.
  18. Rebecca Blank & David Card & Whitney Newey, 1988. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," Working Papers 623, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  19. James Costain, 1997. "Unemployment insurance with endogenous search intensity and precautionary saving," Economics Working Papers 243, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  20. Wadsworth, Jonathan, 1991. "Unemployment Benefits and Search Effort in the UK Labour Market," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(229), pages 17-34, February.
  21. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  22. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  23. Diamond, Peter A., 1980. "An alternative to steady-state comparisons," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 7-9.
  24. Carruth, Alan A & Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. "Miners' Wages in Post-war Britain: An Application of a Model of Trade Union Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380), pages 1003-20, December.
  25. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
  26. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  27. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1990. "Job Search Outcomes for the Employed and Unemployed," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 637-55, June.
  28. Mortensen, Dale T., 1996. "Unemployment insurance, labor-market dynamics, and social welfare A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 83-86, June.
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