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A proposal for a federalized unemployment insurance mechanism for Europe

Author

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  • Leila E. Davis
  • Charalampos Konstantinidis
  • Yorghos Tripodis

Abstract

The ongoing crisis in the Eurozone, together with growing evidence of structural imbalances, points to a role for new institutions to support a more stable EMU structure. As is well established in the context of monetary union when business cycles are not synchronized, a system of fiscal transfers can support monetary union. Unemployment insurance (UI) is, in particular, a key component of fiscal crisis management. UI supports household incomes during downturns, and also acts as an automatic stabilizer, thereby helping individual countries respond to asymmetric shocks. This paper proposes a `federalized’ EMU-level UI mechanism as one program that can contribute to a system of fiscal transfers in the EMU, and estimates the cost of the proposed system under different financing and eligibility scenarios. We find that, under a variety of reasonable institutional parameters, such a system is fiscally feasible with limited reason to expect adverse employment effects in member countries. We conclude that fiscal transfers extended via automatic stabilizers are a productive avenue towards a more stable Eurozone architecture.

Suggested Citation

  • Leila E. Davis & Charalampos Konstantinidis & Yorghos Tripodis, 2015. "A proposal for a federalized unemployment insurance mechanism for Europe," Working Papers 2015_02, University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:mab:wpaper:2015_02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Eurozone; unemployment insurance; fiscal transfers;

    JEL classification:

    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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