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When the Going Gets Tough... Financial Incentives, Duration of Unemployment and Job-Match Quality

Author

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  • Yolanda F. Rebollo-Sanz

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

  • Nuria Rodriguez Planas

    () (Department of Economics, Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY))

Abstract

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the Spanish government reduced the replacement rate (RR) from 60% to 50% after 180 days of unemployment for all spells beginning on July 15, 2012. Using Social Security data and a Differences-in-Differences approach, we find that reducing the RR by 10 percentage points (or 17%) increases workers’ odds of finding a job by at least 41% relative to similar workers not affected by the reform. To put it differently, the reform reduced the mean expected unemployment duration by 5.7 weeks (or 14%), implying an elasticity of 0.86. We find strong behavioral effects as the reform reduced the expected unemployment duration right from the beginning of the unemployment spell. While the reform had no effect on wages, it did not decrease other measures of post-displacement job-match quality. After 15 months, the reform decreased unemployment insurance expenditures by 16%, about half of which are explained by job seekers’ behavioral changes.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:16.11
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    Cited by:

    1. Doris, Aedin & O'Neill, Donal & Sweetman, Olive, 2017. "Does Reducing Unemployment Benefits During a Recession Reduce Youth Unemployment? Evidence from a 50% Cut in Unemployment Assistance," IZA Discussion Papers 10727, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Tomi Kyyrä & Hanna Pesola, 2020. "The Effects of UI Benefits on Unemployment and Subsequent Outcomes: Evidence from a Kinked Benefit Rule," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(5), pages 1135-1160, October.
    3. Samuel Bentolila & J. Ignacio García-Pérez & Marcel Jansen, 2017. "Are the Spanish long-term unemployed unemployable?," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-41, March.
    4. Ignacio Moral-Arce & Javier Martín-Román & Ángel L. Martín-Román, 2019. "Cessation of Activity Benefit for Spanish Self-employed Workers: A Heterogeneous Impact Evaluation," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 231(4), pages 41-79, December.
    5. Yolanda F. Rebollo-Sanz, 2017. "Decomposing the structure of wages into firm and worker effects: Some insights from a high unemployment economy," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 765-787, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor supply; financial incentives; unemployment insurance replacement rate; hazard function models; wages and job-match quality; forward-looking non-employed workers; longitudinal social security data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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