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Potential Unemployment Insurance Duration and Labor Supply: The Individual and Market-Level Response to a Benefit Cut

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  • Andrew C. Johnston
  • Alexandre Mas

Abstract

We examine how a 16-week cut in potential unemployment insurance (UI) duration in Missouri affected search behavior of UI recipients and the aggregate labor market. Using a regression discontinuity design (RDD), we estimate a marginal effect of maximum duration on UI and nonemployment spells of approximately 0.5 and 0.3 respectively. We use RDD estimates to simulate the unemployment rate assuming no market-level externalities. The simulated response closely approximates the estimated change in the unemployment rate following the benefit cut, suggesting that even in a period of high unemployment the labor market absorbed this influx of workers without crowding-out other jobseekers.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew C. Johnston & Alexandre Mas, 2016. "Potential Unemployment Insurance Duration and Labor Supply: The Individual and Market-Level Response to a Benefit Cut," NBER Working Papers 22411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22411
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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Reis & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Optimal Automatic Stabilizers," 2015 Meeting Papers 608, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Serdar Birinci & Kurt Gerrard See, 2018. "How Should Unemployment Insurance vary over the Business Cycle?," 2018 Meeting Papers 69, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Krebs, Tom & Scheffel, Martin, 2016. "Labor Market Institutions and the Cost of Recessions," IZA Discussion Papers 10442, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Brown, Alessio & Kohlbrecher, Britta & Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2016. "The effects of productivity and benefits on unemployment: Breaking the link," MERIT Working Papers 032, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. Jonas Kolsrud & Camille Landais & Peter Nilsson & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2018. "The Optimal Timing of Unemployment Benefits: Theory and Evidence from Sweden," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(4-5), pages 985-1033, April.
    6. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii & Kurt Mitman, 2016. "Interpreting Recent Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Unemployment Benefit Extensions," NBER Working Papers 22280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Yolanda F. Rebollo-Sanz & Nuria Rodriguez Planas, 2016. "When the Going Gets Tough... Financial Incentives, Duration of Unemployment and Job-Match Quality," Working Papers 16.11, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    8. Jonas Kolsrud & Camille Landais & Peter Nilsson & Johannes Spinnewijn, 2015. "The Optimal Timing of UI Benefits: Theory and Evidence from Sweden," CEP Discussion Papers dp1361, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. Marco Di Maggio & Amir Kermani, 2016. "The Importance of Unemployment Insurance as an Automatic Stabilizer," NBER Working Papers 22625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2016. "The Masking of the Decline in Manufacturing Employment by the Housing Bubble," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 179-200, Spring.
    11. Martin Scheffel & Tom Krebs, 2017. "Labor Market Institutions and the Cost of Recessions," 2017 Meeting Papers 1438, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Andrew Figura & David Ratner, 2017. "How Large were the Effects of Emergency and Extended Benefits on Unemployment during the Great Recession and its Aftermath?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-068, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii & Kurt Mitman, 2015. "The Impact of Unemployment Benefit Extensions on Employment: The 2014 Employment Miracle?," NBER Working Papers 20884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2016. "The Limited Macroeconomic Effects of Unemployment Benefit Extensions," NBER Working Papers 22163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Steven Dieterle & Otavio Bartalotti & Quentin Brummet, 2016. "Revisiting the Effects of Unemployment Insurance Extensions on Unemployment: A Measurement Error-Corrected Regression Discontinuity Approach," ESE Discussion Papers 268, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    16. Boone, Christopher & Dube, Arindrajit & Goodman, Lucas & Kaplan, Ethan, 2016. "Unemployment Insurance Generosity and Aggregate Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 10439, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter, 2016. "The Effects of Unemployment Insurance Benefits: New Evidence and Interpretation," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 547-581, October.
    18. Schmieder, Johannes F. & Trenkle, Simon, 2016. "Disincentive Effects of Unemployment Benefits and the Role of Caseworkers," IZA Discussion Papers 9868, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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