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On Voters' Attitudes Towards Unemployment Insurance Subsidies across Regions: A Canadian Simulation

  • Stephane Pallage

    (UQAM)

  • Christian Zimmermann

    (University of Connecticut)

The Canadian unemployment insurance program is designed to reflect the varying risk of joblessness across regions. Regions that are considered low-risk areas subsidize higher risk ones. A region's risk is typically proxied by its relative unemployment rate. We use a dynamic, heterogeneous-agent model calibrated to Canada to analyze voters preferences between a uniformly generous unemployment insurance and the current system with asymmetric generosity. We find that Canada's unusual unemployment insurance system is surprisingly close to what voters would choose in spite of the possibilities of moral hazard and self-insurance through asset build-up.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2004-34.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2004-34
Note: This paper was presented at the 2003 meeting of the European Society for Population Economics at NYU, the 2003 Montreal Macro Workshop, the 2003 meeting of the Society for Economic Dynamics in Paris, and the Midwest Macro Conference at Iowa State University. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from FCAR/FQRSC.
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  1. Hansen, Gary D & Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 118-42, February.
  2. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Steve, 1996. "Unemployment Insurance with Moral Hazard in a Dynamic Economy," Staff General Research Papers 5088, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2001. "The survival of the welfare state," Economics Working Papers 603, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Gomes, Joao F & Greenwood, Jeremy & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1997. "Equilibrium Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1602, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. Hassler, John & Rodriguez Mora, Jose V., 1999. "Employment turnover and the public allocation of unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 55-83, July.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
  8. Wright, Randall, 1986. "The redistributive roles of unemployment insurance and the dynamics of voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 377-399, December.
  9. Pallage, Stephane & Zimmermann, Christian, 2001. "Voting on Unemployment Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 903-23, November.
  10. Stephane Pallage & Christian Zimmermann, 1999. "Heterogeneous Labor Markets and the Generosity Towards the Unemployed: An International Perspective," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 88, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  11. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  12. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  13. Andolfatto, David & Gomme, Paul, 1996. "Unemployment insurance and labor-market activity in Canada," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 47-82, June.
  14. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
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