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The welfare effects of unemployment insurance in Argentina. New estimates using changes in the schedule of transfers

Author

Listed:
  • Martin González-Rozada
  • Hernan Ruffo

Abstract

Unemployment insurance transfers should balance the provision of consumption to the unemployed with the disincentive effects on the search behavior. Developing countries face the additional challenge of informality. Workers can choose to hide their employment state and labor income in informal jobs, an additional form of moral hazard. To provide evidence about the effects of this policy in a country affected by informality we exploit kinks in the schedule of transfers in Argentina. Our results suggest that higher benefits induce moderate behavioral responses in job-finding rates and increase re-employment wages. We use a sufficient statistics formula from a model with random wage offers and we calibrate it with our estimates. We show that welfare could rise substantially if benefits were increased in Argentina. Importantly, our conclusion is relevant for the median eligible worker that is strongly affected by informality.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin González-Rozada & Hernan Ruffo, 2022. "The welfare effects of unemployment insurance in Argentina. New estimates using changes in the schedule of transfers," Department of Economics Working Papers 2022_01, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  • Handle: RePEc:udt:wpecon:2022_01
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment Insurance; Sufficient statistics; Regression kink design; Instrumental Variables.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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