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Extended Unemployment Benefits and Early Retirement: Program Complementarity and Program Substitution

  • Inderbitzin, Lukas

    ()

  • Staubli, Stefan

    ()

  • Zweimüller, Josef

    ()

This paper explores how extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits targeted to older workers affect early retirement and social welfare. We argue that the analysis of UI's tradeoff between consumption smoothing and moral hazard needs to consider the entire early retirement system, which often consists of extended UI and relaxed access to disability insurance (DI). We argue that extended UI generates program complementarity (higher future take-up of DI and/or regular retirement benefits) or program substitution (lower contemporaneous take-up of DI benefits). Exploiting Austria's regional extended benefit program, which extended regular UI benefits to up to 4 years, we find: (i) program complementarity is quantitatively important for workers aged 50+; and (ii) program substitution is quantitatively relevant for workers aged 55+. We derive an optimal UI formula in the spirit of Baily (1978) and Chetty (2006) that features program complementarity and program substitution. Using the sufficient statistics approach, we conclude that UI for older workers was too generous and the regional extended benefit program was a suboptimal policy.

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File URL: http://www1.vwa.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/econwp/EWP-1323.pdf
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Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1323.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2013:23
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  1. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Erratum: Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1197-1197, December.
  2. Lucie Schmidt & Purvi Sevak, 2004. "AFDC, SSI, and Welfare Reform Aggressiveness: Caseload Reductions versus Caseload Shifting," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  3. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Optimal unemployment insurance over the business cycle," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58321, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Nicola Pavoni & Giovanni L. Violante, 2005. "Optimal welfare-to-work programs," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 143, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Staubli, Stefan & Zweimüller, Josef, 2011. "Does Raising the Retirement Age Increase Employment of Older Workers?," IZA Discussion Papers 5863, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Helmut Hofer & Reinhard Koman, 2006. "Social security and retirement incentives in Austria," Empirica, Springer, vol. 33(5), pages 285-313, December.
  7. Del Bono, Emilia & Weber, Andrea, 2006. "Do Wages Compensate for Anticipated Working Time Restrictions? Evidence from Seasonal Employment in Austria," IZA Discussion Papers 2242, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Duggan, Mark & Singleton, Perry & Song, Jae, 2007. "Aching to retire? The rise in the full retirement age and its impact on the social security disability rolls," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1327-1350, August.
  9. Landais, Camille, 2013. "Assessing the Welfare Effects of Unemployment Benefits Using the Regression Kink Design," IZA Discussion Papers 7589, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Robert Shimer & Iván Werning, 2007. "Reservation Wages and Unemployment Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1145-1185, 08.
  11. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  12. Lex Borghans & Anne C. Gielen & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2014. "Social Support Substitution and the Earnings Rebound: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity in Disability Insurance Reform," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 34-70, November.
  13. Kyyrä, Tomi & Wilke, Ralf A., 2004. "Reduction in the Long-Term Unemployment of the Elderly: A Success Story from Finland," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-63, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Kroft, Kory & Notowidigdo, Matthew J., 2012. "Should Unemployment Insurance Vary with the Unemployment Rate? Theory and Evidence," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2012-26, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 29 Oct 2012.
  15. Susan Chen & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2006. "The Work Disincentive Effects of the Disability Insurance Program in the 1990s," Working Papers 06-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  16. Raj Chetty & Adam Szeidl, 2006. "Consumption Commitments and Risk Preferences," NBER Working Papers 12467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Karlström, Anders & Palme, Mårten & Svensson, Ingemar, 2008. "The Employment Effect of Stricter Rules for Eligibility for DI: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Sweden," Research Papers in Economics 2008:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  18. Bloemen, Hans & Hochguertel, Stefan & Lammers, Marloes, 2011. "Job Search Requirements for Older Unemployed: Transitions to Employment, Early Retirement and Disability Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 5442, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Raj Chetty, 2005. "A General Formula for the Optimal Level of Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 11386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Mark Cullen & Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Iuliana Pascu, 2010. "How General Are Risk Preferences? Choices Under Uncertainty in Different Domains," Discussion Papers 09-005, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  21. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Program," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 569-606, 06.
  22. Lucie Schmidt & Purvi Sevak, 2000. "AFDC, SSI, and Welfare Reform Aggressiveness: Caseload Reductions vs. Caseload Shifting," Department of Economics Working Papers 2002-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  23. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2012. "The Effects of Extended Unemployment Insurance Over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over 20 Years," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 701-752.
  24. Staubli, Stefan, 2011. "The impact of stricter criteria for disability insurance on labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1223-1235, October.
  25. Levon Barseghyan & Jeffrey Prince & Joshua C. Teitelbaum, 2011. "Are Risk Preferences Stable across Contexts? Evidence from Insurance Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 591-631, April.
  26. Kyyrä, Tomi & Ollikainen, Virve, 2008. "To search or not to search? The effects of UI benefit extension for the older unemployed," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2048-2070, October.
  27. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  28. Chetty, Raj, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Scholarly Articles 9751256, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  29. Tomi Kyyrä, 2010. "Early retirement policy in the presence of competing exit pathways: Evidence from policy reforms in Finland," Working Papers 17, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  30. Spinnewijn, Johannes, 2013. "Training and search during unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 49-65.
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