IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/10443.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Optimal Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection. A First Pass

Author

Listed:
  • Olivier Blanchard
  • Jean Tirole

Abstract

Much of the policy discussion of labor market institutions has been at the margin, with proposals to tighten unemployment benefits, reduce employment protection, and so on. There has been little discussion however of what the ultimate goal and architecture should be. The paper focuses on characterizing this ultimate goal, the optimal architecture of labor market institutions. We start our analysis with a simple benchmark, with risk averse workers, risk neutral firms and random shocks to productivity. In this benchmark, we show that optimality requires both unemployment insurance and employment protection---in the form of layoff taxes; it also requires that layoff taxes be equal to unemployment benefits. We then explore the implications of four broad categories of deviations: limits on insurance, limits on layoff taxes, ex-post wage bargaining, and heterogeneity of firms or workers. We show how the architecture must be modified in each case. The scope for insurance may be more limited than in the benchmark; so may the scope for employment protection. The general principle remains however, namely the need to look at unemployment insurance and employment protection together, rather than in isolation.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Blanchard & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Optimal Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection. A First Pass," NBER Working Papers 10443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10443
    Note: EFG ME PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10443.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Hajime Miyazaki, 1980. "The Implicit Contract Theory of Unemployment meets the Wage Bill Argument," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(2), pages 321-338.
    3. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
    5. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher, 2001. "Taxes, Subsidies and Equilibrium Labour Market Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 2989, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Hansen, Gary D & Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 118-142, February.
    7. Pierre Cahuc & Winfried Koeniger, 2007. "Feature: Employment Protection Legislation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 185-188, June.
    8. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 2000. "Productivity gains from unemployment insurance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1195-1224, June.
    9. Martin Neil Baily, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50.
    10. Fernando Alvarez & Marcelo Veracierto, 1998. "Search, self-insurance and job-security provisions," Working Paper Series WP-98-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    11. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
    12. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2002. "Consumption and Savings with Unemployment Risk: Implications for Optimal Employment Contracts," CEP Discussion Papers dp0542, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    13. Pissarides, Christopher, 2002. "Consumption and Savings with Unemployment Risk: Implications for Employment Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 3367, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Raquel Fonseca & Natalia Utrero, 2005. "Financial Development, Labor and Market Regulations and Growth," Documents de recherche 05-05, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.
    2. Florian Baumann & Nikolai Stähler, 2006. "Financing Unemployment Benefits: Dismissal versus Employment Taxes," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(3), pages 433-451, September.
    3. Tangian, Andranik, 2006. "Monitoring flexicurity policies in Europe from three different viewpoints," WSI Working Papers 145, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    4. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2005. "Civic attitudes and the Design of Labor Market Institutions? Which Countries can Implement the Danish Flexicurity Model?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 0517, CEPREMAP.
    5. Nicola Pavoni & G. L. Violante, 2007. "Optimal Welfare-to-Work Programs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 283-318.
    6. Cahuc, Pierre & Zylberberg, André, 2008. "Optimum income taxation and layoff taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2003-2019, October.
    7. Daniele Checchi & Cecilia García-Peñalosa, 2008. "Labour market institutions and income inequality," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 601-649, October.
    8. Federico Cingano & Marco Leonardi & Julián Messina & Giovanni Pica, 2010. "The effects of employment protection legislation and financial market imperfections on investment: evidence from a firm-level panel of EU countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 117-163, January.
    9. Burguet, Roberto & Caminal, Ramon, 2008. "Does the market provide sufficient employment protection?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 406-422, June.
    10. International Monetary Fund, 2005. "France; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 05/397, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Walter Nicholson & Karen Needels, 2006. "Unemployment Insurance: Strengthening the Relationship between Theory and Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 47-70, Summer.
    12. Frederick van der Ploeg & Steven Poelhekke, 2008. "Globalization and the rise of mega-cities in the developing world," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 1(3), pages 477-501.
    13. Regev, Tali, 2012. "Unemployment compensation under partial program coverage," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 888-897.
    14. Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2004. "The Welfare State, Redistribution and the Economy, Reciprocal Altruism, Consumer Rivalry and Second Best," CESifo Working Paper Series 1234, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Tali Regev, 2006. "Unemployment insurance and the uninsured," Working Paper Series 2006-48, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    16. MacLeod, W. Bentley & Nakavachara, Voraprapa, 2006. "Legal Default Rules: The Case of Wrongful Discharge Laws," IZA Discussion Papers 1970, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Debora Di Gioacchino & Laura Sabani, 2009. "The Politics of Social Protection: Social Expenditure versus Markets' Regulation," Working Papers 116, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
    18. Olivier Blanchard & Florence Jaumotte & Prakash Loungani, 2014. "Labor market policies and IMF advice in advanced economies during the Great Recession," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-23, December.
    19. Florian Baumann, 2008. "Employment Protection: The Case of Limited Enforceability," CESifo Working Paper Series 2346, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. Chung, Yoon-Kyung & Jeong, Jinook, 2008. "Analysis of employment protection laws and unemployment benefits," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 144-146, April.
    21. Tangian, Andranik, 2006. "European flexicurity: concepts (operational definitions), methodology (monitoring instruments), and policies (consistent implementations)," WSI Working Papers 148, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    22. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Anne Saint-Martin, 2004. "Comment les salariés perçoivent-ils la protection de l'emploi ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 372(1), pages 41-59.
    23. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8811 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Walter Nicholson & Karen Needels, "undated". "Optimal Extended Unemployment Benefits," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 3362c47819f246f7a3b20dd00, Mathematica Policy Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10443. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.