IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Does Extending Unemployment Benefits Improve Job Quality?

  • Arash Nekoei
  • Andrea Weber

Contrary to the predictions of standard reservation-wage search models, empirical studies consistently find that an extension of unemployment insurance (UI) increases unemployment duration without improving subsequent wages. Our paper addresses this puzzle in two steps. First, using administrative data from Austria and an age-based regression discontinuity design, we show that an extension of UI eligibility by nine weeks increases the average reemployment wage by a statistically significant 0.5%. The magnitude of this effect is consistent with the behavior of an optimizing agent since new higher wages tend to persist. We find that the UI effect on both unemployment durations and reemployment wages is larger for individuals with a high ex-ante likelihood of benefit exhaustion and for those laid off during local industry-specific downturns. Second, we show both theoretically and empirically that the UI effect on expected wage is determined by two offsetting forces: (i) agents on UI increase their reservation wages, which raises subsequent wages, but (ii) they also stay unemployed longer and thus experience a greater decrease in job opportunities, which reduces subsequent wages. Together, these results show that UI does have an economically significant impact on job quality consistent with theoretical predictions. Connecting these results to a normative model of UI points to an overlooked welfare benefit: UI increases future tax revenue through higher wages. We show that this positive fiscal externality is of the same order of magnitude as the traditional negative moral-hazard externality emphasized in prior work. These results suggest that taking gains in job quality into account could significantly change the optimal generosity of UI.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.labornrn.at/wp/2014/wp1404.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2014-04.

as
in new window

Length: 74 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2014_04
Contact details of provider: Postal:
NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz

Phone: +43-732-2468-8216
Fax: +43-732-2468-8217
Web page: http://www.labornrn.at/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Hagedorn, Marcus & Karahan, Fatih & Manovskii, Iourii & Mitman, Kurt, 2013. "Unemployment benefits and unemployment in the Great Recession: the role of macro effects," Staff Reports 646, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Feb 2015.
  2. Atkinson, Anthony B & Micklewright, John, 1991. "Unemployment Compensation and Labor Market Transitions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1679-1727, December.
  3. Jesse Rothstein, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(2 (Fall)), pages 143-213.
  4. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1996. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 36, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  5. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2008. "Job Search and Unemployment Insurance: New Evidence from Time Use Data," Working Papers 1093, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  6. Addison, John T. & Blackburn, McKinley L., 2000. "The effects of unemployment insurance on postunemployment earnings," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 21-53, January.
  7. 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.
  8. Boone, Jan & van Ours, Jan C, 2009. "Why is there a spike in the job finding rate at benefit exhaustion?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7525, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. David Card & David Lee & Zhuan Pei & Andrea Weber, 2012. "Nonlinear Policy Rules and the Identification and Estimation of Causal Effects in a Generalized Regression Kink Design," NBER Working Papers 18564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Marimon, Ramon & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1999. "Unemployment vs. Mismatch of Talents: Reconsidering Unemployment Benefits," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 266-91, April.
  11. Kory Kroft & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2016. "Should Unemployment Insurance Vary with the Unemployment Rate? Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 1092-1124.
  12. Acemoglu, Daron, 1995. "Public Policy in a Model of Long-Term Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(246), pages 161-78, May.
  13. van Ours, Jan C. & Vodopivec, Milan, 2008. "Does reducing unemployment insurance generosity reduce job match quality?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 684-695, April.
  14. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1976. "Unemployment Insurance, Duration of Unemployment, and Subsequent Wage Gain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 754-66, December.
  15. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  16. 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.
  17. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Productivity Gains from Unemployment Insurance," Working papers 99-29, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  18. Chetty, Raj, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Scholarly Articles 9751256, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian Social Security Database," NRN working papers 2009-03, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    • Josef Zweim�ller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon B�chi, 2009. "Austrian social security database," IEW - Working Papers 410, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  20. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 2003. "Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective Than the Services Themselves? Evidence from Random Assignment in the UI System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1313-1327, September.
  21. Alberto Abadie & Matthew M. Chingos & Martin R. West, 2013. "Endogenous Stratification in Randomized Experiments," NBER Working Papers 19742, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Sebastian Calonico & Matias D. Cattaneo & Rocio Titiunik, 2014. "Robust Nonparametric Confidence Intervals for Regression‐Discontinuity Designs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 2295-2326, November.
  23. Gerard J. van den Berg, 1990. "Nonstationarity in Job Search Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 255-277.
  24. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Labor Market Dynamics and Unemployemnt: A Reconsideration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(1), pages 13-72.
  25. 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.
  26. Lukas Inderbitzin & Stefan Staubli & Josef Zweimüller, 2013. "Extended Unemployment Benefits and Early Retirement: Program Complementarity and Program Substitution," NRN working papers 2013-04, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  27. Blanchard, O.J. & Diamond, P., 1990. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, And Wages," Working papers 546, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  28. 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.
  29. van den Berg, Gerard J., 1995. "Explicit expressions for the reservation wage path and the unemployment duration density in nonstationary job search models," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 187-198, June.
  30. Robert Shimer & Ivan Werning, 2008. "Liquidity and Insurance for the Unemployed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1922-42, December.
  31. James D. Montgomery, 1991. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion and Interindustry Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 163-179.
  32. Marco Caliendo & Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Arne Uhlendorff, 2009. "Benefit Duration, Unemployment Duration and Job Match Quality: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 967, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  33. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1991. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 665-88, August.
  34. Robert Shimer & Iván Werning, 2007. "Reservation Wages and Unemployment Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1145-1185.
  35. Kory Kroft & Fabian Lange & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2013. "Duration Dependence and Labor Market Conditions: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1123-1167.
  36. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," NBER Working Papers 14723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  38. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Cash-on-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1511-1560.
  39. 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.
  40. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, December.
  41. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter, 2010. "Does Wage Persistence Matter for Employment Fluctuations? Evidence from Displaced Workers," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 1-21, July.
  42. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  43. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search Decisions," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  44. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
  45. 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.
  46. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2008. "Two Questions about European Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 1-29, 01.
  47. Stephen A. Wandner, 2010. "Solving the Reemployment Puzzle: From Research to Policy," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number srep, November.
  48. Christopher A. Pissarides, 1992. "Loss of Skill During Unemployment and the Persistence of Employment Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1371-1391.
  49. Kenneth Burdett & Tara Vishwanath, 1988. "Declining Reservation Wages and Learning," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 655-665.
  50. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till M. von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2012. "The Long-Term Effects of Unemployment Insurance Extensions on Employment," NBER Working Papers 17814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  51. Ben Lockwood, 1991. "Information Externalities in the Labour Market and the Duration of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 733-753.
  52. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
  53. Nathaniel Hendren, 2013. "The Policy Elasticity," NBER Working Papers 19177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Thomas Le Barbanchon, 2012. "The Effect of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on Unemployment Exits to Work and Match Quality in France," Working Papers 2012-21, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  55. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2014_04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (René Böheim)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.