IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Monitoring

  • Setty, Ofer
Registered author(s):

    Monitoring the job-search activities of unemployed workers is a common government intervention. Typically, a caseworker reviews the unemployed worker's employment contacts at some frequency, and applies sanctions if certain requirements are not met. I model monitoring in the optimal unemployment insurance framework of Hopenhayn and Nicolini (1997), where job-search effort is private information for the unemployed worker. In the model, monitoring provides costly information upon which the government conditions the unemployment benefits. In the optimal monitoring scheme, endogenous sanctions and rewards, together with random monitoring, create effective job-search incentives for the unemployed worker. I calibrate the model to the US economy and find that the addition of optimal monitoring to the optimal unemployment insurance scheme decreases the variance of consumption by about two thirds and eliminates roughly half of the government's cost. I also find that compared with the optimal monitoring scheme, US states monitor too much and impose the sanctions over too short a time span. For the US on average, shifting to the optimal monitoring policy would generate savings of about $500 per unemployment spell.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: revised version
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 18188.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 06 Jan 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18188
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
    Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
    Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
    Web page:

    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.:

    as in new window
    1. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    2. Berg, Gerard J. van den & Klaauw, Bas van der & Ours, Jan C. van, 1998. "Punitive sanctions and the transition rate from welfare to work," Serie Research Memoranda 0033, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    3. van den Berg, Gerard J, 1994. "The Effects of Changes of the Job Offer Arrival Rate on the Duration of Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 478-98, July.
    4. Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw & Jan C. van Ours, 1998. "Punitive Sanctions and the Transition Rate from Welfare to Work," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-076/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. Boone, J. & Fredriksson, P. & Holmlund, B. & van Ours, J.C., 2007. "Optimal unemployment insurance with monitoring and sanctions," Other publications TiSEM f2b1b916-41f5-4964-bad8-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Fougère, Denis & Pradel, Jacqueline & Roger, Muriel, 2005. "Does Job-Search Assistance Affect Search Effort and Outcomes? A Microeconometric Analysis of Public versus Private Search Methods," IZA Discussion Papers 1825, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw, 2006. "Counseling And Monitoring Of Unemployed Workers: Theory And Evidence From A Controlled Social Experiment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 895-936, 08.
    8. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Aysegul Sahin, 2002. "Unemployment Insurance and the Role of Self-Insurance," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(3), pages 681-703, July.
    9. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. Berg & Jan C. Ours, 2005. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions on the Transition Rate from Unemployment to Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 602-630, 07.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

    1. Economic Logic blog

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18188. 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.