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Unemployment Benefits and Unemployment in the Great Recession: The Role of Macro Effects

Listed author(s):
  • Kurt Mitman

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Iourii Manovskii

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Fatih Karahan

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Marcus Hagedorn

    (Institute of Advanced Studies)

We exploit policy discontinuity at U.S. state borders to identify the effects of unemployment insurance policies on unemployment. We find large effects of unemployment benefit extensions on unemployment. In fact, the estimates imply that most of the persistent increase in unemployment during the Great Recession can be accounted for by the unprecedented extensions of unemployment benefit eligibility. In contrast to the existing literature that mainly focused on estimating the effects of benefit duration on job search and acceptance strategies of the unemployed – the micro effect – we focus on measuring the general equilibrium macro effect that operates primarily through the response of the job creation to unemployment benefit extensions. We find that it is the latter effect that is very important quantitatively.

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File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2013/paper_1260.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2013 Meeting Papers with number 1260.

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Date of creation: 2013
Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:1260
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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  1. Haefke, Christian & Sonntag, Marcus & van Rens, Thijs, 2013. "Wage rigidity and job creation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 887-899.
  2. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
  3. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 113-118, May.
  4. Jesse Rothstein, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(2 (Fall)), pages 143-213.
  5. Donald W. K. Andrews, 2005. "Cross-Section Regression with Common Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1551-1585, 09.
  6. Casey B. Mulligan, 2010. "Foreclosures, Enforcement, and Collections under the Federal Mortgage Modification Guidelines," NBER Working Papers 15777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
  8. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
  9. Jed Kolko & David Neumark & Marisol Cuellar Mejia, 2013. "What Do Business Climate Indexes Teach Us About State Policy And Economic Growth?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 220-255, 05.
  10. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, July.
  11. Casey B. Mulligan, 2008. "A Depressing Scenario: Mortgage Debt Becomes Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 14514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
  13. 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.
  14. Casey B. Mulligan, 2009. "Means-Tested Mortgage Modification: Homes Saved or Income Destroyed?," NBER Working Papers 15281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian, 2012. "Foreclosure delay and U.S. unemployment," Working Papers 2012-017, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  16. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  17. Arindrajit Dube & T. William Lester & Michael Reich, 2010. "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 945-964, November.
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