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Family Job Search, Wage Bargaining, and Optimal Unemployment Insurance

Author

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  • Ek Spector, Susanne

    () (Confederation of Swedish Enterprise)

  • Holmlund, Bertil

    () (Uppsala University)

Abstract

The paper develops an equilibrium search and matching model where two-person families as well as singles participate in the labor market. We show that equilibrium entails wage dispersion among equally productive risk-averse workers. Marital status as well as spousal labor market status matter for wage outcomes. In general, employed members of two-person families receive higher wages than employed singles. The model is applied to a welfare analysis of alternative unemployment insurance systems, recognizing the role of spousal employment as a partial substitute for public insurance. The optimal system involves benefit differentiation based on marital status as well as spousal labor market status. Optimal differentiation yields small welfare gains but gives rise to large wage differentials.

Suggested Citation

  • Ek Spector, Susanne & Holmlund, Bertil, 2010. "Family Job Search, Wage Bargaining, and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," IZA Discussion Papers 4701, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4701
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ek Susanne & Holmlund Bertil, 2010. "Family Job Search, Wage Bargaining, and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-27, May.
    2. Rasmus Lentz, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in an Estimated Job Search Model with Savings," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 37-57, January.
    3. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1991. "Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 282-307.
    4. Hector Chade & Gustavo Ventura, 2005. "Income Taxation and Marital Decisions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 565-599, Juky.
    5. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2008. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1653-1674, September.
    6. Browning, Martin & Crossley, Thomas F., 2001. "Unemployment insurance benefit levels and consumption changes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 1-23, April.
    7. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2006. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 357-386, July.
    8. Guler, Bulent & Guvenen, Fatih & Violante, Giovanni L., 2012. "Joint-search theory: New opportunities and new frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 352-369.
    9. Casamatta, Georges & Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. "Political sustainability and the design of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 341-364, March.
    10. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-273, May.
    11. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
    12. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
    13. Laszlo Goerke, 2000. "Bismarck versus Beveridge. Flat-Rate and Earnings-Related Unemployment Insurance in a General Efficiency Wage Framework," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 57(3), pages 243-243, May.
    14. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
    15. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2009. "Shocks, Stocks, and Socks: Smoothing Consumption Over a Temporary Income Loss," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1169-1192, December.
    16. Abraham, Katharine G, 1983. "Structural-Frictional vs. Deficient Demand Unemployment: Some New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 708-724, September.
    17. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Out Spousal Labor Supply?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 546-572, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ek Susanne & Holmlund Bertil, 2010. "Family Job Search, Wage Bargaining, and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-27, May.
    2. Björn Nilsson, 2017. "The School-to-work transition in developing countries," Working Papers DT/2017/07, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    3. J. Ignacio García-Pérez & Sílvio Rendon, 2016. "Family Job Search and Wealth: The Added Worker Effect Revisited," Working Papers 16.12, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    4. Malmberg, Jonas, 2010. "Posting Post Laval International and National Responses," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2010:5, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    5. Mauring, Eeva, 2016. "A two-agent model of sequential search and choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 122-137.
    6. Zaharieva, Anna, 2015. "Social contacts and referrals in a labor market with on-the-job search," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 27-43.
    7. Anders, Forslund & Fredriksson, Peter, 2009. "Income support systems, labour supply incentives and employment – some cross-country evidence," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2010:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    job search; wage bargaining; wage differentials; unemployment insurance; unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • 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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