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Do Benefit Cuts Boost Job Findings? Swedish Evidence from the 1990s

  • Carling, Kenneth

    ()

    (Office of Labor Market Policy Evaluation (IFAU))

  • Holmlund, Bertil

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

  • Vejsiu, Altin

    (Department of Economics)

In June 1995, the Swedish parliament decided to cut the replacement rate in unemployment insurance from 80 percent to 75 percent, a change that took effect on January 1, 1996. This paper examines how this change affected job finding rates among unemployed insured individuals. To identify the effect of the policy we exploit a quasi-experimental feature of the benefit cut: only a fraction of the unemployed was affected by the reduction in replacement rates. We compare the evolution of job finding rates before and after the reform among those affected and those not affected. Our estimates suggest that the reform caused an increase in the transition rate of roughly 10 percent. There is also evidence of anticipatory behavior among the unemployed; the effects of the reform seem to operate several months before its actual implementation in January 1996.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 1999:20.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 01 Nov 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economic Journal, 2001, pages 766-790.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:1999_020
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/
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  8. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
  9. Cleveland, William S. & Devlin, Susan J. & Grosse, Eric, 1988. "Regression by local fitting : Methods, properties, and computational algorithms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 87-114, January.
  10. Narendranathan, W. & Stewart, M.B., 1989. "Modelling The Probability Of Leaving Unemployment: Competing Risks Models With Flexible Baseline Hazards," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 331, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  11. Burdett, Kenneth, 1979. "Unemployment Insurance Payments as a Search Subsidy: A Theoretical Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(3), pages 333-43, July.
  12. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. Berg & Jan C. Ours, 2005. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions on the Transition Rate from Unemployment to Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 602-630, 07.
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  17. van den Berg, Gerard J, 1994. "The Effects of Changes of the Job Offer Arrival Rate on the Duration of Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 478-98, July.
  18. Devine, Theresa J. & Kiefer, Nicolas M., 1991. "Empirical Labor Economics: The Search Approach," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195059366, March.
  19. 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.
  20. van den Berg, Gerard J, 1990. "Nonstationarity in Job Search Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 255-77, April.
  21. Atkinson, A. B. & Gomulka, J. & Micklewright, J. & Rau, N., 1984. "Unemployment benefit, duration and incentives in Britain : How robust is the evidence?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 3-26.
  22. Steiner, Viktor, 1997. "Extended benefit entitlement periods and the duration of unemployment in West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-14, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  23. Toikka, Richard S, 1976. "A Markovian Model of Labor Market Decisions by Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 821-34, December.
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  25. Narendranathan, W & Nickell, S & Stern, J, 1985. "Unemployment Benefits Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(378), pages 307-29, June.
  26. Axell, Bo & Lang, Harald, 1990. " The Effects of Unemployment Compensation in General Equilibrium with Search Unemployment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(4), pages 531-40.
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