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The Effect of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment Insurance Receipt: New Evidence from a Regression Kink Design in Missouri, 2003-2013

  • David Card

    (Univeristy of California Berkeley, NBER and IZA)

  • Andrew Johnston

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Pauline Leung

    (Princeton University)

  • Alexandre Mas

    (Princeton University, NBER and IZA)

  • Zhuan Pei

    (Brandeis University)

We provide new evidence on the effect of the unemployment insurance (UI) weekly benefit amount on unemployment insurance spells based on administrative data from the state of Missouri covering the period 2003-2013. Identification comes from a regression kink design that exploits the quasi-experimental variation around the kink in the UI benefit schedule. We find that UI durations are more responsive to benefit levels during the recession and its aftermath, with an elasticity between 0.65 and 0.9 as compared to about 0.35 pre-recession.

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Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 585.

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Date of creation: Jan 2015
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:585
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  1. Kroft, Kory & Notowidigdo, Matthew J., 2012. "Should Unemployment Insurance Vary with the Unemployment Rate? Theory and Evidence," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2012-26, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 29 Oct 2012.
  2. David E. Card & David S. Lee & Zhuan Pei & Andrea Weber, 2012. "Nonlinear Policy Rules and the Identification and Estimation of Causal Effects in a Generalized Regression Kink Design," NRN working papers 2012-14, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. Imbens, Guido W. & Kalyanaraman, Karthik, 2009. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," IZA Discussion Papers 3995, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till M. von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2012. "The Effects of Extended Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over Twenty Years," NBER Working Papers 17813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok, 2007. "Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Unemployment Insurance from New York State," Working Papers 0708, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  6. J. J. McCall, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-126.
  7. Peter Ganong & Simon Jäger, 2015. "A Permutation Test for the Regression Kink Design," Working Paper 174531, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  8. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2012. "The Effects of Extended Unemployment Insurance Over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over 20 Years," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 701-752.
  9. Ganong, Peter & Jäger, Simon, 2014. "A Permutation Test and Estimation Alternatives for the Regression Kink Design," IZA Discussion Papers 8282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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