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An Adverse Selection Model of Optimal Unemployment Insurance

  • Marcus Hagedorn
  • Ashok Kaul

We derive the shape of optimal unemployment insurance contracts when agents can exert search effort but have private information about their search technology. We derive a recursive solution of our adverse selection problem with repeated moral hazard. Conditions under which the UI agency should always offer separating contracts are identified. We show that the good searcher receives the minimal entitlement. Our main theoretical contribution is a numerically useful analytical characterization of the sets of jointly feasible entitlements. This allows us to map our analytical results one-to-one to a numerical algorithm. According to our results the contract for the good searcher has a decreasing benefit profile, as the one he would be offered in a pure moral hazard environment. In contrast, the contract of the bad searcher is distorted by an adverse selection effect, so that it tends to have an upward-sloping benefit profile. We provide a comparative static analysis of changes in various parameters of our model

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 331.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:331
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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  1. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
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  7. Marcus Hagedorn & Ashok Kaul, 2004. "An Adverse Selection Model of Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 154, Society for Computational Economics.
  8. Jullien, Bruno, 2000. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-47, July.
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  19. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen D., 2002. "Moral Hazard, Optimal Unemployment Insurance and Experience Rating," Staff General Research Papers 10133, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  20. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-62, December.
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