IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp2877.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Unemployment Insurance in Welfare States: Soft Constraints and Mild Sanctions

Author

Listed:
  • Røed, Knut

    (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Westlie, Lars

    (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

Abstract

Based on a sequence of reforms in the Norwegian unemployment insurance (UI) system, we show that activity-oriented UI regimes – i.e., regimes with a high likelihood of required participation in active labor market programs, duration limitations on unconditional UI entitlements, and high sanction probabilities – deliver substantially shorter unemployment spells than pure income-insurance regimes. Soft constraints, in the form of activity requirements or small benefit cuts after a pre-specified UI duration, have many of the same behavioral consequences as threats of complete benefit termination. Early introduction of a soft constraint appears particularly effective; our results show that the expected unemployment duration falls by half a day for each week the soft constraint is moved ahead in the UI spell. Mild sanctions, in the form of temporary benefit terminations in response to inadequate search effort or excess choosiness, cause a significant rise in the job hazard.

Suggested Citation

  • Røed, Knut & Westlie, Lars, 2007. "Unemployment Insurance in Welfare States: Soft Constraints and Mild Sanctions," IZA Discussion Papers 2877, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2877
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp2877.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Henningsen, Morten, 2006. "Moving between Welfare Payments. The Case of Sickness Insurance for the Unemployed," Memorandum 04/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. 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, July.
    3. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search Decisions," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
    4. Carling, Kenneth & Edin, Per-Anders & Harkman, Anders & Holmlund, Bertil, 1996. "Unemployment duration, unemployment benefits, and labor market programs in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 313-334, March.
    5. Knut Røed & Peter Jensen & Anna Thoursie, 2008. "Unemployment duration and unemployment insurance: a comparative analysis based on Scandinavian micro data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 254-274, April.
    6. Johansson, Sten & Selén, Jan, 2002. "Coping with Heterogeneities in the Difference in Differences Design," Working Paper Series 183, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Gaure, Simen & Røed, Knut, 2003. "How Tight is the Labour Market? A Micro-Based Macro Indicator," Memorandum 09/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    8. Gerard J. van den Berg, 1990. "Nonstationarity in Job Search Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 255-277.
    9. Hunt, Jennifer, 1995. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on Unemployment Duration in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 88-120, January.
    10. Katz, Lawrence F. & Meyer, Bruce D., 1990. "The impact of the potential duration of unemployment benefits on the duration of unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 45-72, February.
    11. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 113-118, May.
    12. Gaure, Simen & Roed, Knut & Zhang, Tao, 2007. "Time and causality: A Monte Carlo assessment of the timing-of-events approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1159-1195, December.
    13. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460, Elsevier.
    14. Knut Roed & Tao Zhang, 2003. "Does Unemployment Compensation Affect Unemployment Duration?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 190-206, January.
    15. Laura Larsson, 2006. "Sick of Being Unemployed? Interactions between Unemployment and Sickness Insurance," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 97-113, March.
    16. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "The Nonparametric Identification of Treatment Effects in Duration Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1491-1517, September.
    17. Brinch, Christian N., 2007. "Nonparametric Identification Of The Mixed Hazards Model With Time-Varying Covariates," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 349-354, April.
    18. Bernd Fitzenberger & Ralf A. Wilke, 2010. "Unemployment Durations in West Germany Before and After the Reform of the Unemployment Compensation System during the 1980s," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(3), pages 336-366, August.
    19. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    20. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-782, July.
    21. Bratberg, Espen & Vaage, Kjell, 2000. "Spell durations with long unemployment insurance periods," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 153-180, March.
    22. Roed, Knut & Zhang, Tao, 2005. "Unemployment duration and economic incentives--a quasi random-assignment approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1799-1825, October.
    23. Goffe, William L. & Ferrier, Gary D. & Rogers, John, 1994. "Global optimization of statistical functions with simulated annealing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 65-99.
    24. Knut Røed & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2006. "Do Labour Market Programmes Speed up the Return to Work?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(5), pages 541-568, October.
    25. Card, David & Levine, Phillip B., 2000. "Extended benefits and the duration of UI spells: evidence from the New Jersey extended benefit program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 107-138, October.
    26. Rudolf Winter‐Ebmer, 1998. "Potential Unemployment Benefit Duration and Spell Length: Lessons from a Quasi‐Experiment in Austria," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(1), pages 33-45, February.
    27. Lars Pico Geerdsen, 2006. "Is there a Threat Effect of Labour Market Programmes? A Study of ALMP in the Danish UI System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 738-750, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Torbjørn Skardhamar & Kjetil Telle, 2009. "Life after prison The relationship between employment and re-incarceration," Discussion Papers 597, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    2. Michael Svarer, 2011. "Crime and partnerships," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 307-325, September.
    3. Westlie, Lars, 2008. "Norwegian Vocational Rehabilitation Programs: Improving Employability and Preventing Disability?," Memorandum 24/2008, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    4. Svarer, Michael, 2007. "The Effect of Sanctions on the Job Finding Rate: Evidence from Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 3015, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Henningsen, Morten, 2008. "Benefit shifting: The case of sickness insurance for the unemployed," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1238-1269, December.
    6. Gaure, Simen & Røed, Knut & Westlie, Lars, 2008. "The Impacts of Labor Market Policies on Job Search Behavior and Post-Unemployment Job Quality," Memorandum 22/2008, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    7. Moffitt, Robert, 2008. "Welfare reform: the US experience," Working Paper Series 2008:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    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. Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Jan C. Ours, 2014. "Labor Market Effects Of Unemployment Insurance Design," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 284-311, April.
    3. Lalive, Rafael & Zweimuller, Josef, 2004. "Benefit entitlement and unemployment duration: The role of policy endogeneity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2587-2616, December.
    4. Gaure, Simen & Røed, Knut & Westlie, Lars, 2012. "Job search incentives and job match quality," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 438-450.
    5. Roed, Knut & Zhang, Tao, 2005. "Unemployment duration and economic incentives--a quasi random-assignment approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1799-1825, October.
    6. Gaure, Simen & Røed, Knut & Westlie, Lars, 2008. "The Impacts of Labor Market Policies on Job Search Behavior and Post-Unemployment Job Quality," Memorandum 22/2008, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    7. Røed, Knut & Jensen, Peter & Thoursie, Anna, 2002. "Unemployment Duration, Incentives and Institutions - A Micro-Econometric Analysis Based on Scandinavian Data," Working Paper Series 3/2002, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    8. Bart, COCKX & Jean, RIES, 2004. "The Exhaustion of Unemployment Benefits in Belgium. Does it Enhance the Probability of Employment ?," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2004016, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    9. Henningsen, Morten, 2008. "Benefit shifting: The case of sickness insurance for the unemployed," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1238-1269, December.
    10. Bennmarker, Helge & Skans, Oskar Nordström & Vikman, Ulrika, 2013. "Workfare for the old and long-term unemployed," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 25-34.
    11. Emmanuel Duguet & Florent Frémigacci & Yannick L’Horty, 2008. "Indemnisation du chômage et retour à l’emploi : un examen économétrique," Documents de recherche 08-07, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.
    12. Krueger, Alan B. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2002. "Labor supply effects of social insurance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 33, pages 2327-2392, Elsevier.
    13. Roed, Knut & Nordberg, Morten, 2003. "Temporary layoffs and the duration of unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 381-398, June.
    14. Kyyrä, Tomi & Ollikainen, Virve, 2008. "To search or not to search? The effects of UI benefit extension for the older unemployed," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2048-2070, October.
    15. Knut Roed & Tao Zhang, 2003. "Does Unemployment Compensation Affect Unemployment Duration?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 190-206, January.
    16. Busk, Henna, 2016. "Sanctions and the exit from unemployment in two different benefit schemes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 159-176.
    17. Virve Ollikainen & Tomi Kyyrä, 2006. "To Search or Not to Search? The Effects of UI Benefit Extension for the Elderly Unemployed," Discussion Papers 400, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
    18. Tito Boeri & Jan van Ours, 2013. "The Economics of Imperfect Labor Markets: Second Edition," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10142.
    19. Lionel Cottier & Kathrin Degen & Rafael Lalive, 2020. "Can unemployment benefit cuts improve employment and earnings?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 659-699, August.
    20. Simoes, Nadia, 2013. "Subsídio de desemprego: uma revisão da literatura teórica e empírica [Unemployment insurance: a survey]," MPRA Paper 52332, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    MMPH; timing-of-events; unemployment insurance; competing risks; NPMLE;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • 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
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2877. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.