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Optimal Size and Intensity of Job Search Assistance Programs

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  • Evelyn Ribi

    ()

Abstract

This paper derives the welfare optimal size and intensity of job search assistance programs in a general equilibrium model where the labor market is affected by search frictions. Both instruments have a priori ambiguous fiscal implications: their direct employment stimulating effects broaden the base of the labor income tax and increase revenues, while also incurring direct costs. At optimal levels, the policy instruments trade off the positive effects on the participants against a marginal increase in taxes, which distorts employment decisions and potentially labor market tightness. We find that the higher unemployment insurance benefits, the lower is the optimal program intensity. Further, the introduction of a job search assistance program is more likely to raise welfare if it is highly effective at improving participants' job search skills, direct program costs are low and if the general level of taxation in the economy and thus the labor market participation tax are high.

Suggested Citation

  • Evelyn Ribi, 2009. "Optimal Size and Intensity of Job Search Assistance Programs," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2009 2009-19, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2009:2009-19
    as

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    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/dp2009/DP-0919-Ri.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter Dolton & Donal O'Neill, 2002. "The Long-Run Effects of Unemployment Monitoring and Work-Search Programs: Experimental Evidence from the United Kingdom," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 381-403, Part.
    2. David T. Coe & Dennis J. Snower, 1997. "Policy Complementarities: The Case for Fundamental Labor Market Reform," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 1-35, March.
    3. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1998. "A framework for analyzing the political support for active labor market policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 151-165, February.
    4. Keuschnigg, Christian & Ribi, Evelyn, 2009. "Outsourcing, unemployment and welfare policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 168-176, June.
    5. Nicola Pavoni & G. L. Violante, 2007. "Optimal Welfare-to-Work Programs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 283-318.
    6. repec:hhs:iuiwop:429 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Bruno, VAN DER LINDEN, 2005. "Equilibrium Evaluation of Active Labor Market Programmes Enhancing Matching Effectiveness," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005007, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    8. Calmfors, Lars & Lang, Harald, 1995. "Macroeconomic Effects of Active Labour Market Programmes in a Union Wage-Setting Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 601-619, May.
    9. Fredriksson, Peter, 1999. "The political economy of public employment programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 487-504, June.
    10. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job search assistance; optimal size; optimal intensity; unemployment insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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