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

Author

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  • Stephane Pallage

    (UQAM)

  • Christian Zimmermann

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephane Pallage & Christian Zimmermann, 2004. "On Voters' Attitudes Towards Unemployment Insurance Subsidies across Regions: A Canadian Simulation," Working papers 2004-34, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
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    3. Gomes, Joao & Greenwood, Jeremy & Rebelo, Sergio, 2001. "Equilibrium unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 109-152, August.
    4. 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 118-142, February.
    5. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen, 1996. "Unemployment insurance with moral hazard in a dynamic economy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-41, June.
    6. 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 903-923, November.
    7. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    8. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Stephen D., 2002. "Moral hazard, optimal unemployment insurance, and experience rating," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1337-1371, October.
    9. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
    10. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-438, April.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pollak, Andreas, 2013. "Employment Insurance and the Business Cycle," MPRA Paper 49358, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Andreas Pollak, 2005. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance and Voting," Computational Economics 0505002, EconWPA.
    3. Andreas Pollak, 2005. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in a Search Model with Variable Human Capital," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 324, Society for Computational Economics.
    4. Lars Osberg, 2011. "Why Did Unemployment Disappear from Official Macro-Economic Policy Discourse in Canada?," New Directions for Intelligent Government in Canada: Papers in Honour of Ian Stewart,in: Fred Gorbet & Andrew Sharpe (ed.), New Directions for Intelligent Government in Canada: Papers in Honour of Ian Stewart, pages 127-162 Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    5. Pollak, Andreas, 2007. "Optimal unemployment insurance with heterogeneous agents," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 2029-2053, November.
    6. Johnston, David W. & Lordan, Grace, 2016. "Racial prejudice and labour market penalties during economic downturns," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 57-75.
    7. Johnston, David W. & Lordan, Grace, 2014. "When work disappears: racial prejudice and recession labour market penalties," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 56110, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment insurance; moral hazard; shirking; heterogeneous agents; voting; redistribution.;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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