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Scraping By: Income and Program Participation After the Loss of Extended Unemployment Benefits

Author

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  • Rothstein, Jesse

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Valletta, Robert G.

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

Abstract

Despite unprecedented extensions of available unemployment insurance (UI) benefits during the "Great Recession" of 2007-09 and its aftermath, large numbers of recipients exhausted their maximum available UI benefits prior to finding new jobs. Using SIPP panel data and an event-study regression framework, we examine the household income patterns of individuals whose jobless spells outlast their UI benefits, comparing the periods following the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions. Job loss reduces household income roughly by half on average, and for UI recipients benefits replace just under half of this loss. Accordingly, when benefits end the household loses UI income equal to roughly one-quarter of total pre-separation household income (and about one-third of pre-exhaustion household income). Only a small portion of this loss is offset by increased income from food stamps and other safety net programs. The share of families with income below the poverty line nearly doubles. These patterns were generally similar following the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions and do not vary dramatically by household age or income prior to job loss.

Suggested Citation

  • Rothstein, Jesse & Valletta, Robert G., 2014. "Scraping By: Income and Program Participation After the Loss of Extended Unemployment Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 8022, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8022
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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Reis & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Optimal Automatic Stabilizers," 2015 Meeting Papers 608, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Serdar Birinci & Kurt Gerrard See, 2018. "How Should Unemployment Insurance vary over the Business Cycle?," 2018 Meeting Papers 69, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Camilla Adams & Jonathan Meer & CarlyWill Sloan, 2018. "The Minimum Wage and Search Effort," NBER Working Papers 25128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Andreas I. Mueller & Jesse Rothstein & Till M. von Wachter, 2016. "Unemployment Insurance and Disability Insurance in the Great Recession," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 445-475.
    5. McKay, Alisdair, 2017. "Time-varying idiosyncratic risk and aggregate consumption dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-14.
    6. Duha T. Altindag & Elif S. Filiz & Erdal Tekin, 2020. "Does It Matter How and How Much Politicians are Paid?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 87(348), pages 1105-1132, October.
    7. Peter Ganong & Pascal J. Noel, 2019. "Consumer Spending During Unemployment: Positive and Normative Implications," NBER Working Papers 25417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Robert Valletta, 2014. "Recent extensions of U.S. unemployment benefits: search responses in alternative labor market states," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-25, December.
    9. Alexander W. Bartik & Marianne Bertrand & Feng Lin & Jesse Rothstein & Matt Unrath, 2020. "Measuring the labor market at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis," NBER Working Papers 27613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. J. Carter Braxton & Gordon Phillips & Kyle Herkenhoff, 2018. "Can the Unemployed Borrow? Implications for Public Insurance," 2018 Meeting Papers 564, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Zweimüller, Josef, 2018. "Unemployment insurance and the labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-14.
    12. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Helen Levy & Robert G. Valletta, 2021. "Medicaid Expansion and the Unemployed," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(S2), pages 575-617.
    13. Serdar Birinci & Kurt See, 2019. "Labor Market Responses to Unemployment Insurance: The Role of Heterogeneity," Working Papers 2019-022, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised Mar 2021.
    14. David Manley & Nabil Khattab & Ron Johnston, 0. "Whiteness, Migration and Integration into the British Labour Market," Journal of International Migration and Integration, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-23.
    15. Jeffrey Clemens, 2016. "Redistribution through Minimum Wage Regulation: An Analysis of Program Linkages and Budgetary Spillovers," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 163-189.
    16. Bartik, Alexander & Bertrand, Marianne & Lin, Feng & Rothstein, Jesse & Unrath, Matthew, 2020. "Measuring the labor market at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt15k6d98m, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    17. Alexander W. Bartik & Marianne Bertrand & Feng Lin & Jesse Rothstein & Matt Unrath, 2020. "Measuring the Labor Market at the Onset of the COVID-19 Crisis," Working Papers 2020-83, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    18. Peter Ganong & Pascal Noel, 2019. "Consumer Spending During Unemployment: Positive and Normative Implications," Working Papers 2019-006, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    19. Bernardus Van Doornik & David Schoenherr & Janis Skrastins, 2018. "Unemployment Insurance, Strategic Unemployment and Firm-Worker Collusion," Working Papers Series 483, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    20. David Manley & Nabil Khattab & Ron Johnston, 2020. "Whiteness, Migration and Integration into the British Labour Market," Journal of International Migration and Integration, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 925-947, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment benefit exhaustion; household income; social program interactions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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