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Recent Extensions of U.S. Unemployment Benefits: Search Responses in Alternative Labor Market States

  • Valletta, Robert G.

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

In response to the 2007-09 “Great Recession,” the maximum duration of U.S. unemployment benefits was increased from the normal level of 26 weeks to an unprecedented 99 weeks. I estimate the impact of these extensions on job search, comparing them with the more limited extensions associated with the milder 2001 recession. The analyses rely on monthly matched microdata from the Current Population Survey. I find that a 10-week extension of UI benefits raises unemployment duration by about 1.5 weeks, with little variation across the two episodes. This estimate lies in the middle-to-upper end of the range of past estimates.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 8247.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: IZA Journal of Labor Policy, 2014, 3
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8247
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  1. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-83, June.
  2. Jeremy Schwartz, 2013. "Do temporary extensions to unemployment insurance benefits matter? The effects of the US standby extended benefit program," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(9), pages 1167-1183, March.
  3. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle," Discussion Papers 1303, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
  4. Rothstein, Jesse & Valletta, Robert G., 2014. "Scraping By: Income and Program Participation After the Loss of Extended Unemployment Benefits," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt74x2f4jh, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  5. Lalive, Rafael & Landais, Camille & Zweimüller, Josef, 2013. "Market Externalities of Large Unemployment Insurance Extension Programs," CEPR Discussion Papers 9673, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till M. von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2012. "The Effects of Extended Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over Twenty Years," NBER Working Papers 17813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "A Macroeconomic Theory of Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 16526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Phillip B. Levine, 1993. "Spillover Effects between the Insured and Uninsured Unemployed," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(1), pages 73-86, October.
  11. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," NBER Working Papers 12893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Card, David & Levine, Phillip B., 2000. "Extended benefits and the duration of UI spells: evidence from the New Jersey extended benefit program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 107-138, October.
  13. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "Reporting Errors and Labor Market Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1319-38, November.
  14. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Erratum: Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1197-1197, December.
  15. Lawrence Katz & Bruce Meyer, 1988. "The Impact of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment," Working Papers 621, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  16. Stepan Jurajda & Frederick J. Tannery, 2003. "Unemployment durations and extended unemployment benefits in local labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(2), pages 324-348, January.
  17. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1995. "Unemployment Benefits and Labor Market Transitions: A Multinomial Logit Model with Errors in Classification," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 207-16, May.
  18. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  19. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
  20. Chetty, Raj, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Scholarly Articles 9751256, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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