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Why Is There a Spike in the Job Finding Rate at Benefit Exhaustion?

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  • Boone, Jan

    (Tilburg University)

  • van Ours, Jan C.

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

Putting a limit on the duration of unemployment benefits tends to introduce a "spike" in the job finding rate shortly before benefits are exhausted. Current theories explain this spike from workers’ behavior. We present a theoretical model in which also the nature of the job matters. End-of-benefit spikes in job finding rates are related to optimizing behavior of unemployed workers who rationally assume that employers will accept delays in the starting date of a new job, especially if these jobs are permanent. We use a dataset on Slovenian unemployment spells to test this prediction and find supporting evidence. We conclude that the spike in the job finding rate suggests that workers exploit unemployment insurance benefits for subsidized leisure.

Suggested Citation

  • Boone, Jan & van Ours, Jan C., 2009. "Why Is There a Spike in the Job Finding Rate at Benefit Exhaustion?," IZA Discussion Papers 4523, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4523
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment benefits; spikes;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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