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Assessing the Welfare Effects of Unemployment Benefits Using the Regression Kink Design

  • Landais, Camille

    ()

    (London School of Economics)

I investigate in this paper partial equilibrium labor supply responses to unemployment insurance (UI) in the US. I use administrative data on the universe of unemployment spells in five states from the late 1970s to 1984, and non-parametrically identify the effect of both benefit level and potential duration in the regression kink (RK) design using kinks in the schedule of UI benefits. I provide many tests for the robustness of the RK design, and demonstrate its validity to overcome the traditional issue of endogeneity in UI benefit variations on US data. I also show how, in the tradition of the dynamic labor supply literature, one can identify the purely distortionary effects of UI using variations along the returns-to-employment profile brought about by exogenous variations in the benefit level as well as in the benefit duration. I then use these estimates to calibrate the welfare effects of an increase in UI benefit level and in UI potential duration.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7589.

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Length: 84 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7589
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  1. Marianne Simonsen & Lars Skipper & Niels Skipper, 2010. "Price Sensitivity of Demand for Prescription Drugs: Exploiting a Regression Kink Design," Economics Working Papers 2010-03, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  2. Steven Shavell & Laurence Weiss, 1978. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 503, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Kroft, Kory, 2008. "Takeup, social multipliers and optimal social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 722-737, April.
  4. Dong, Yingying, 2010. "Jumpy or Kinky? Regression Discontinuity without the Discontinuity," MPRA Paper 25427, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. 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.
  6. Holmlund, B., 1997. "Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Papers 1997-25, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  7. Helena Skyt Nielsen & Torben Sørensen & Christopher R. Taber, 2008. "Estimating the Effect of Student Aid on College Enrollment: Evidence from a Government Grant Policy Reform," NBER Working Papers 14535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  9. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Optimal unemployment insurance over the business cycle," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58321, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Lalive, Rafael, 2006. "How do extended benefits affect unemployment duration? A regression discontinuity approach," Working Paper Series 2006:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  11. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2011. "Job Search, Emotional Well-Being and Job Finding in a Period of Mass Unemployment: Evidence from High-Frequency Longitudinal Data," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 1-81.
  12. 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.
  13. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
  14. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
  15. 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.
  16. Chetty, Raj, 2006. "A general formula for the optimal level of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1879-1901, November.
  17. Rothstein, Jesse, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search in the Great Recession," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt5611t356, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  18. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
  19. Yingying Dong, 2011. "Jumpy or Kinky? Regression Discontinuity without the Discontinuity," Working Papers 111207, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  20. Stefano DellaVigna & M. Daniele Paserman, 2005. "Job Search and Impatience," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(3), pages 527-588, July.
  21. David Card & Phillip B. Levine, 1998. "Extended Benefits and the Duration of UI Spells: Evidence from the New Jersey Extended Benefit Program," NBER Working Papers 6714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. David E. Card & David S. Lee & Zhuan Pei & Andrea Weber, 2012. "Nonlinear Policy Rules and the Identification and Estimation of Causal Effects in a Generalized Regression Kink Design," NRN working papers 2012-14, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  23. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  24. Krueger, Alan B. & Mueller, Andreas I., 2011. "Job Search and Job Finding in a Period of Mass Unemployment: Evidence from High-Frequency Longitudinal Data," IZA Discussion Papers 5450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  26. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
  27. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
  28. Daniel Aaronson & Bhashkar Mazumder & Shani Schechter, 2010. "What is behind the rise in long-term unemployment?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 28-51.
  29. Walter Corson & Jean Grossman & Walter Nicholson, 1986. "An Evaluation of the Federal Supplemental Compensation Program," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 5abe260128b04a4f8639e65b0, Mathematica Policy Research.
  30. repec:mpr:mprres:668 is not listed on IDEAS
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