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Optimal Unemployment Insurance And Redistribution

Author

Listed:
  • Robin Boadway
  • Katherine Cuff

    (McMaster University)

Abstract

We characterize optimal income taxation and unemployment insurance in a search-matching framework where both voluntary and involuntary unemployment are endogenous and Nash bargaining determines wages. Individuals differ in utility when voluntarily unemployed (non-participants in the labour market) and decide whether to participate as a job seeker and if so, how much search effort to exert. Unemployment insurance trades off insurance versus moral hazard due to search. We show that it is optimal to have a positive linear wage tax without any redistributive concerns even if search is efficient so the Hosios condition is satisfied. We also allow for different productivity types so there is a redistributive role for the income tax and show that a proportional wage tax internalizes the macro effects arising from endogenous wages. Lump-sum income taxes and transfers can then redistribute between individuals of differing skills and employment states. Our analysis embeds optimal unemployment insurance into an extensive-margin optimal redistribution framework where transfers to the involuntary and voluntary unemployed can differ, and nests several standard models in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin Boadway & Katherine Cuff, 2016. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance And Redistribution," Working Paper 1375, Economics Department, Queen's University.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1375
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    File URL: https://www.econ.queensu.ca/sites/econ.queensu.ca/files/qed_wp_1375.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kory Kroft & Kavan Kucko & Etienne Lehmann & Johannes Schmieder, 2020. "Optimal Income Taxation with Unemployment and Wage Responses: A Sufficient Statistics Approach," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 254-292, February.
    2. l'Haridon, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck & Pérez-Duarte, Sébastien, 2013. "Does bargaining matter in the small firms matching model?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 42-58.
    3. Mathias Hungerbühler & Etienne Lehmann & Alexis Parmentier & Bruno Van Der Linden, 2006. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation in a Search Equilibrium Model," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 73(3), pages 743-767.
    4. Melvyn Coles & Adrian Masters, 2006. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in a Matching Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 109-138, January.
    5. Etienne Lehmann & Bruno Van Der Linden, 2007. "On the Optimality of Search Matching Equilibrium When Workers Are Risk Averse," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(5), pages 867-884, October.
    6. Laurence Jacquet & Etienne Lehmann & Bruno Linden, 2014. "Optimal income taxation with Kalai wage bargaining and endogenous participation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(2), pages 381-402, February.
    7. Lehmann, Etienne & Parmentier, Alexis & Van Der Linden, Bruno, 2011. "Optimal income taxation with endogenous participation and search unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1523-1537.
    8. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 173-234, April.
    9. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073.
    10. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2567-2627 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Diamond, P., 1980. "Income taxation with fixed hours of work," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 101-110, February.
    12. (IFS), Institute for Fiscal Studies (ed.), 2010. "Dimensions of Tax Design: The Mirrlees Review," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199553754, Decembrie.
    13. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627, Elsevier.
    14. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    15. repec:adr:anecst:y:2014:i:113-114:p:7 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 173-234, April.
    17. Topel, Robert & Welch, Finis, 1980. "Unemployment Insurance: Survey and Extensions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 351-379, August.
    18. Boadway, Robin, 2012. "From Optimal Tax Theory to Tax Policy: Retrospective and Prospective Views," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262017113, December.
    19. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "A Macroeconomic Theory of Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 16526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
    21. Edi Karni, 1999. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance: A Survey," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 66(2), pages 442-465, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ferey, Antoine, 2022. "Redistribution and Unemployment Insurance," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 345, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    2. Germain, Antoine, 2023. "Basic income versus fairness: redistribution with inactive agents," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2023022, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    3. Lavecchia, Adam M., 2020. "Minimum wage policy with optimal taxes and unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    4. Guillaume Wilemme, 2021. "Optimal Taxation to Correct Job Mismatching," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 40, pages 170-197, April.
    5. Sahin Avcioglu & Bilgehan Karabay, 2020. "Labor market regulation under self‐enforcing contracts," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 22(6), pages 1965-2018, December.
    6. Boadway,Robin & Cuff,Katherine, 2022. "Tax Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781108949453, November.
    7. da Costa, Carlos E. & Maestri, Lucas J. & Santos, Marcelo R., 2022. "Redistribution with labor market frictions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 201(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    optimal income taxation; unemployment insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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