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Family Job Search, Wage Bargaining, and Optimal Unemployment Insurance

  • and Bertil Holmlund, Susanne Ek

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

The paper develops an equilibrium search and matching model where two-person families as well as singles participate in the labor market. We show that equilibrium entails wage dispersion among equally productive risk-averse workers. Marital status as well as spousal labor market status matter for wage outcomes. In general, employed members of two-person families receive higher wages than employed singles. The model is applied to a welfare analysis of alternative unemployment insurance systems, recognizing the role of spousal employment as partial substitute for public insurance. The optimal system involves benefit differentiation based on marital status as wellas spousal labor market status. Optimal differentiation yields small welfare gains but gives rise to large wage differentials.

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File URL: http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:288112/FULLTEXT01.pdf
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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2010:2.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 27 Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2010_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/
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  1. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2003. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Working Paper Series 2003:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Casamatta, Georges & Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. "Political sustainability and the design of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 341-364, March.
  3. Guler, Bulent & Guvenen, Fatih & Violante, Giovanni L., 2012. "Joint-search theory: New opportunities and new frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 352-369.
  4. and Bertil Holmlund, Susanne Ek, 2010. "Family Job Search, Wage Bargaining, and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Working Paper Series 2010:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2008. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1653-74, September.
  6. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
  7. 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.
  8. David Neumark & Sanders D. Korenman, 1988. "Does marriage really make men more productive?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Out Spousal Labor Supply?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 546-72, July.
  10. Laszlo Goerke, 2000. "Bismarck versus Beveridge. Flat-Rate and Earnings-Related Unemployment Insurance in a General Efficiency Wage Framework," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 57(3), pages 243-, May.
  11. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
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