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Search frictions, real wage rigidities and the optimal design of unemployment insurance

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  • Julien Albertini
  • Xavier Fairise

Abstract

In this paper, we study the optimal unemployment benefits financing scheme when the economy is subject to labor market imperfections characterized by real wage rigidities and search frictions. The US unemployment insurance financing is such that firms are taxed proportionately to their layoffs to finance unemployment benefits. Using DSGE methodology, we investigate how policy instruments should interact with labor market imperfections. It is shown that wage rigidities in a search and matching environment cause welfare costs, especially in the absence of an incentive-based unemployment insurance. This cost is mainly due to the distorting effect of wage rigidities which generate inefficient separations. We show that the optimal unemployment benefits financing scheme – corresponding to the Ramsey policy – offsets labor market imperfections and allows implementation of the Pareto allocation. The second-best allocation brings the economy close to the Ramsey allocation. The implementation of the optimal policies clearly highlights the role of labor market institutions for short-run stabilization.
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Suggested Citation

  • Julien Albertini & Xavier Fairise, 2013. "Search frictions, real wage rigidities and the optimal design of unemployment insurance," TEPP Working Paper 2013-07, TEPP.
  • Handle: RePEc:tep:teppwp:wp13-07
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    File URL: http://www.tepp-repec.eu/RePEc/files/teppwp/TEPP-wp-13-07-ja-xf.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marius Clemens & Guillaume Claveres, 2017. "Unemployment Insurance Union," 2017 Meeting Papers 1340, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Ahrens, Steffen & Nejati, Nooshin & Pfeiffer, Philipp Ludwig, 2015. "Layoff Taxes, Unemployment Insurance, and Business Cycle Fluctuations," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112807, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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