Unemployment and Insurance
This paper elaborates equilibrium properties of contract labor markets when cost barriers limit labor mobility in response to demand and productivity shifts. Unemployment is sustained because the marginal value of labor is not equated across all firms; however the equilibrium contract optimally allocates a worker's time between market and nonmarket uses, given transactions cost-mobility constraints. Contracts provide full unemployment insurance for risks that are diversifiable by pooling among firms. Nondiversifiable (macro) risks are only partially shifted,largely through self-insurance (contingency saving). Increasing diversifiable risk has social value, similar to the value of an option. Increasing nondiversifiable risk has negative value because it reduces lifetime consumption. The main empirical implication of contract theory is shown to be closely related to the permanent income hypothesis and establishes linkages between labor activities and consumption behavior. It is atheory of consumption rigidity rather than wage rigidity. Another empirical implication is that unemployment incidence is proportional to comparative advantage in normarket production. Layoffs are ordered by workers' relative productivity in nonmarket compared with market sectors. The theory is used to analyze some features of the U.S. employment system. Its empirical support is briefly reviewed.
|Date of creation:||Mar 1983|
|Publication status:||published as Rosen, Sherwin. "Unemployment and Insurance." Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Vol. 19, no. 1, (1983) pp. 5-49.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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.:
- Martin Neil Baily, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50.
- Robert E. Hall & Edward P. Lazear, 1982.
"The Excess Sensitivity of Layoffs and Quits to Demand,"
NBER Working Papers
0864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hall, Robert E & Lazear, Edward P, 1984. "The Excess Sensitivity of Layoffs and Quits to Demand," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 233-57, April.
- Diamond, Peter A, 1982.
"Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-894, October.
- Dale T. Mortensen, 1978. "Specific Capital, Bargaining, and Labor Turnover," Discussion Papers 320, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1982.
"Social Insurance and Consumption: An Empirical Inquiry,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 101-13, March.
- Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1980. "Social Insurance and Consumption: An Empirical Inquiry," NBER Working Papers 0600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Grossman, Herschel I., 1978. "Risk shifting, layoffs, and seniority," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 661-686, November.
- Robert E. Hall, 1987. "Consumption," NBER Working Papers 2265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John M. Abowd & Orley Ashenfelter, 1980.
"Anticipated Unemployment, Temporary Layoffs and Compensating Wage Differentials,"
517, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- John M. Abowd & Orley C. Ashenfelter, 1981. "Anticipated Unemployment, Temporary Layoffs, and Compensating Wage Differentials," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 141-170 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
- Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
- Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "The Permanent Income Hypothesis: Estimation and Testing by Instrumental Variables," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 895-916, October.
- V.V. Chari, 1980. "Involuntary Unemployment and Implicit Contracts," Discussion Papers 459, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1981. "Implicit Contracts, Moral Hazard, and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 301-07, May.
- Hall, Robert E, 1982.
"The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 716-24, September.
- Robert E. Hall, 1980. "The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy," NBER Working Papers 0560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1095. 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: ()
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.