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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. Pavoni, Nicola, 2007. "On optimal unemployment compensation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1612-1630, September.
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  8. Doepke, Matthias & Townsend, Robert M., 2006. "Dynamic mechanism design with hidden income and hidden actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 235-285, January.
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  18. Atkeson, Andrew & Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1992. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 427-53, July.
  19. 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.
  20. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
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  22. Mortensen, Dale T., 1983. "A welfare analysis of unemployment insurance: Variations on second-best themes," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 67-97, January.
  23. Gilles Joseph & Thomas Weitzenblum, 2003. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance: Transitional Dynamics vs. Steady State," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 869-884, October.
  24. Chang, Roberto, 1998. "Credible Monetary Policy in an Infinite Horizon Model: Recursive Approaches," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 431-461, August.
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  26. Rasmus Lentz, 2003. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in an Estimated Job Search Model with Savings," CAM Working Papers 2004-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
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