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Optimal Labor-Market Policy in Recessions

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  • Jung, Philip
  • Kuester, Keith

Abstract

We examine the optimal labor market-policy mix over the business cycle. In a search and matching model with risk-averse workers, endogenous hiring and separation, and unobservable search effort we first show how to decentralize the constrained-efficient allocation. This can be achieved by a combination of a production tax and three labor-market policy instruments, namely, a vacancy subsidy, a layoff tax and unemployment benefits. We derive analytical expressions for the optimal setting of each of these for the steady state and for the business cycle. Our propositions suggest that hiring subsidies, layoff taxes and the replacement rate of unemployment insurance should all rise in recessions. We find this confirmed in a calibration targeted to the U.S. economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Jung, Philip & Kuester, Keith, 2011. "Optimal Labor-Market Policy in Recessions," Working Papers 11-1, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mnh:wpaper:29630
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    1. Marcelo Veracierto, 2008. "Firing Costs And Business Cycle Fluctuations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 1-39, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Boeri, Tito & Jimeno, Juan Francisco, 2015. "The unbearable divergence of unemployment in Europe," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65001, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. l'Haridon, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck & Pérez-Duarte, Sébastien, 2013. "Does bargaining matter in the small firms matching model?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 42-58.
    3. Mangin, Sephorah & Sedláček, Petr, 2018. "Unemployment and the labor share," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 41-59.
    4. Ricardo Reis & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Optimal Automatic Stabilizers," 2015 Meeting Papers 608, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Cacciatore, Matteo & Duval, Romain & Fiori, Giuseppe & Ghironi, Fabio, 2016. "Market reforms in the time of imbalance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 69-93.
    6. Marius Clemens & Guillaume Claveres, 2017. "Unemployment Insurance Union," 2017 Meeting Papers 1340, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Andrea Bassanini & Giorgio Brunello & Eve Caroli, 2017. "Not in My Community: Social Pressure and the Geography of Dismissals," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 429-483.
    8. Michau, Jean-Baptiste, 2015. "Optimal labor market policy with search frictions and risk-averse workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 93-107.
    9. Pei, Yun & Xie, Zoe, 2016. "A Quantitative Theory of Time-Consistent Unemployment Insurance," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2016-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, revised 01 Dec 2017.
    10. Pei, Yun & Xie, Zoe, 2016. "Government Commitment and Unemployment Insurance Over the Business Cycle," MPRA Paper 76563, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Sanjay K. Chugh & Wolfgang Lechthalerz & Christian Merkl, 2015. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Labor Selection," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 884, Boston College Department of Economics.
    12. Parkhomenko, Andrii, 2016. "Opportunity to Move: Macroeconomic Effects of Relocation Subsidies," MPRA Paper 75256, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen D., 2002. "Moral hazard, optimal unemployment insurance, and experience rating," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1337-1371, October.
    14. Bassanini, Andrea, 2015. "A Bitter Medicine? Short-term Employment Impact of Deregulation in Network Industries," IZA Discussion Papers 9187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Moyen, Stéphane & Stähler, Nikolai & Winkler, Fabian, 2016. "Optimal unemployment insurance and international risk sharing," Discussion Papers 33/2016, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    16. Boeri, Tito & Jimeno, Juan F., 2016. "Learning from the Great Divergence in unemployment in Europe during the crisis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 32-46.
    17. Xie, Zoe, 2015. "Delayed Collection of Unemployment Insurance during Recessions," MPRA Paper 76564, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Mitman, Kurt & Rabinovich, Stanislav, 2015. "Optimal unemployment insurance in an equilibrium business-cycle model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 99-118.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment ; search and matching ; endogenous separations;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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