IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Long-Term Effects of Job Search Requirements: Evidence from the UK JSA Reform

  • Petrongolo, Barbara


    (Queen Mary, University of London)

This paper investigates long-term returns from unemployment compensation, exploiting variation from the UK JSA reform of 1996, which implied a major increase in job search requirements for eligibility and in the related administrative hurdle. Search theory predicts that such changes should raise the proportion of non-claimant nonemployed, with consequences on search effort and labor market attachment, and lower the reservation wage of the unemployed, with negative effects on post-unemployment wages. I test these ideas on longitudinal data from Social Security records (LLMDB). Using a difference in differences approach, I find that individuals who start an unemployment spell soon after JSA introduction, as opposed to six months earlier, are 2.5-3% more likely to move from unemployment into Incapacity Benefits spells, and 4-5% less likely to have positive earnings in the following year. This latter employment effect only vanishes four years after the initial unemployment shock. Also, annual earnings for the treated individuals are lower than for the non-treated. These results suggest that while tighter search requirements were successful in moving individuals off unemployment benefits, they were not successful in moving them onto long-lasting or better jobs, with fairly long lasting unintended consequences on a number of labor market outcomes.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3856.

in new window

Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2009, 93 (11-12), 1234-1253
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3856
Contact details of provider: Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page:

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Marimon, Ramon & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1998. "Unemployment vs. Mismatch of Talents: Reconsidering Unemployment Benefits," Seminar Papers 661, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. Mário Centeno, 2002. "The Match Quality Gains from Unemployment Insurance," Working Papers w200209, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Productivity Gains from Unemployment Insurance," Working papers 99-29, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L., 2000. "The effects of unemployment insurance on postunemployment earnings," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 21-53, January.
  5. Peter Dolton & Donal O'Neill, 2002. "The Long-Run Effects of Unemployment Monitoring and Work-Search Programs: Experimental Evidence from the United Kingdom," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 381-403, Part.
  6. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2003. "Improving incentives in unemployment insurance: A review of recent research," Working Paper Series 2003:5, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  7. David Autor & Mark Duggan, 2006. "The Growth in the Social Security Disability Rolls: A Fiscal Crisis Unfolding," NBER Working Papers 12436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Diamond, Peter A, 1981. "Mobility Costs, Frictional Unemployment, and Efficiency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 798-812, August.
  9. Lalive, Rafael & van Ours, Jan C. & Zweimüller, Josef, 2004. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 1363, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Boone, Jan & Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil & van Ours, Jan, 2002. "Optimal unemployment insurance with monitoring and sanctions," Working Paper Series 2002:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
  12. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  13. Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Punitive Sanctions and the Transition Rate from Welfare to Work," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 211-241, January.
  14. Card, David & Chetty, Raj & Weber, Andrea, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," IZA Discussion Papers 2590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Program," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 569-606, 06.
  16. Orley Ashenfelter & David Ashmore & Olivier Deschenes, 1998. "Do Unemployment Insurance Recipients Actively Seek Work? Randomized Trials in Four U.S. States," Working Papers 791, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  17. Paserman, M. Daniele, 2004. "Job Search and Hyperbolic Discounting: Structural Estimation and Policy Evaluation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4396, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Dolton, Peter & O'Neill, Donal, 1996. "Unemployment Duration and the Restart Effect: Some Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 387-400, March.
  19. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2008. "Job Search and Unemployment Insurance: New Evidence from Time Use Data," Working Papers 1093, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  20. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:4:p:1511-1560 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Kathleen P. Classen, 1977. "The effect of unemployment insurance on the duration of unemployment and subsequent earnings," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 438-444, July.
  22. Terry R. Johnson & Daniel H. Klepinger, 1994. "Experimental Evidence on Unemployment Insurance Work-Search Policies," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 665-717.
  23. Jurajda, Stepan, 2002. "Estimating the effect of unemployment insurance compensation on the labor market histories of displaced workers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 227-252, June.
  24. Doug Miller & A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach, 2006. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," Working Papers 621, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  25. Card, David & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1988. "Measuring the Effect of Subsidized Training Programs on Movements in and out of Employment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 497-530, May.
  26. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2006. "Cash-on-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 12639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Paul L. Burgess & Jerry L. Kingston, 1976. "The impact of unemployment insurance benefits on reemployment success," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(1), pages 25-31, October.
  28. Christian Belzil, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and subsequent job duration: job matching versus unobserved heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 619-636.
  29. van Ours, Jan C. & Vodopivec, Milan, 2008. "Does reducing unemployment insurance generosity reduce job match quality?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 684-695, April.
  30. repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:1:p:157-205 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Manning, Alan, 2009. "You can't always get what you want: The impact of the UK Jobseeker's Allowance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 239-250, June.
  32. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 2003. "Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective Than the Services Themselves? Evidence from Random Assignment in the UI System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1313-1327, September.
  33. Ashenfelter, Orley & Ashmore, David & Deschenes, Olivier, 2005. "Do unemployment insurance recipients actively seek work? Evidence from randomized trials in four U.S. States," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 53-75.
  34. Alan B. Krueger & Bruce D. Meyer, 2002. "Labor Supply Effects of Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 9014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. repec:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:4:p:1511-1560 is not listed on IDEAS
  36. 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.
  37. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
  38. 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.
  39. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1976. "Unemployment Insurance, Duration of Unemployment, and Subsequent Wage Gain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 754-66, December.
  40. Bruce D. Meyer, 1995. "Lessons from the U.S. Unemployment Insurance Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 91-131, March.
  41. Arlene Holen, 1977. "Effects of unemployment insurance entitlement on duration and job search outcome," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 445-450, July.
  42. McVicar, Duncan, 2008. "Job search monitoring intensity, unemployment exit and job entry: Quasi-experimental evidence from the UK," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1451-1468, December.
  43. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2002. "The Recent Performance of the UK Labour Market," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 202-220, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3856. 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: (Mark Fallak)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.