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Moral Hazard, Optimal Unemployment Insurance and Experience Rating

  • Wang, Cheng
  • Williamson, Stephen D.

This paper is concerned with evaluating alternative unemployment insurance (UI) schemes in a dynamic economy with moral hazard. We consider changes in the size and duration of UI benefits, and the effects of experience rating, and use a dynamic contracting approach to determine a benchmark optimal allocation. Radical changes in the current UI system increase welfare, but not by much. A move to full experience rating has distributional effects, but the aggregate effects are negligible.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 10133.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Monetary Economics 2002, vol. 49, pp. 1337-1371
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:10133
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
  2. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
  3. Carl Davidson & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1997. "The Optimal Dole with Risk Aversion, Job Destruction, and Worker Heterogeneity," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 97-47, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  4. Blank, Rebecca M & Card, David E, 1991. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1157-89, November.
  5. Phelan, C. & Townsend, R.M., 1990. "Computing Multiperiod, Information-Constrained Optima," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-13, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  6. S. Rao Aiyagari & Stephen D. Williamson, 1998. "Money and dynamic credit arrangements with private information," Working Paper 9807, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  7. 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.
  8. S. Rao Aiyagari & Stephen D. Williamson, 1999. "Credit in a Random Matching Model with Private Information," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 36-64, January.
  9. Steven Shavell & Laurence Weiss, 1978. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 503, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1995. "The European unemployment dilemma," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Wang, Cheng, 1995. "Dynamic Insurance with Private Information and Balanced Budgets," Staff General Research Papers 5249, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  12. Joao Gomes & Jeremy Greenwood & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2001. "Equilibrium Unemployment," RCER Working Papers 479, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  13. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen, 1996. "Unemployment insurance with moral hazard in a dynamic economy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-41, June.
  14. Topel, Robert H, 1983. "On Layoffs and Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 541-59, September.
  15. Atkeson, Andrew & Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1992. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 427-53, July.
  16. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1997. "Unemployment and Nonemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 295-300, May.
  17. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  18. Spear, Stephen E & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617, October.
  19. Addison, John T & Portugal, Pedro, 1989. "Job Displacement, Relative Wage Changes, and Duration of Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(3), pages 281-302, July.
  20. Stephane Pallage & Christian Zimmermann, 1997. "Moral Hazard and Optimal Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Heterogeneous Skills," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 54, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  21. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
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