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Estimating the Effects of Potential Benefit Duration without Variation in the Maximum Duration of Unemployment Benefits

Author

Listed:
  • Kyyrä, Tomi

    () (VATT, Helsinki)

  • Pesola, Hanna

    () (VATT, Helsinki)

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of unemployment benefit duration in Finland. To overcome the problem that the maximum duration of benefits is the same for all unemployed we exploit two observations. First, despite the uniform maximum benefit period, potential benefit duration at the beginning of unemployment spells varies across individuals because only those with sufficient work history in the past two years qualify for a new period of benefits whereas others may be entitled to unused benefit days from a previous spell. Second, part of this variation is exogenous due to a reform that reduced the minimum number of employment weeks required for the new benefit period. Using the exogenous part of the variation for identification we estimate that one extra week of benefits increases expected unemployment duration by 0.15 weeks, which corresponds to an elasticity of 0.5. We also find positive effects on the quality of the next job, especially when measured by job stability.

Suggested Citation

  • Kyyrä, Tomi & Pesola, Hanna, 2017. "Estimating the Effects of Potential Benefit Duration without Variation in the Maximum Duration of Unemployment Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 10799, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10799
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rafael Lalive & Jan Van Ours & Josef Zweimuller, 2006. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 1009-1038.
    2. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1998. "Estimating Labor Supply Responses Using Tax Reforms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 827-862, July.
    3. Lalive, Rafael, 2008. "How do extended benefits affect unemployment duration A regression discontinuity approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 785-806, February.
    4. Rafael Lalive & Camille Landais & Josef Zweimüller, 2015. "Market Externalities of Large Unemployment Insurance Extension Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(12), pages 3564-3596, December.
    5. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Cash-on-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1511-1560.
    6. Tomi Kyyrä & Ralf A. Wilke, 2007. "Reduction in the Long-Term Unemployment of the Elderly: A Success Story from Finland," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 154-182, March.
    7. Marco Caliendo & Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Arne Uhlendorff, 2013. "Benefit Duration, Unemployment Duration And Job Match Quality: A Regression‐Discontinuity Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4), pages 604-627, June.
    8. Johannes F. Schmieder† & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2011. "The Effects Of Extended Unemployment Insurance Over The Business Cycle: Evidence From Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over Twenty Years," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-063, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    9. Arash Nekoei & Andrea Weber, 2017. "Does Extending Unemployment Benefits Improve Job Quality?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(2), pages 527-561, February.
    10. Uusitalo, Roope & Verho, Jouko, 2010. "The effect of unemployment benefits on re-employment rates: Evidence from the Finnish unemployment insurance reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 643-654, August.
    11. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2012. "The Effects of Extended Unemployment Insurance Over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over 20 Years," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 701-752.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    eligibility conditions; unemployment duration; unemployment insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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