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

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  • Inderbitzin, Lukas

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  • Staubli, Stefan

    ()

  • Zweimüller, Josef

    ()

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Inderbitzin, Lukas & Staubli, Stefan & Zweimüller, Josef, 2013. "Extended Unemployment Benefits and Early Retirement: Program Complementarity and Program Substitution," Economics Working Paper Series 1323, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2013:23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jesse Rothstein & Robert G. Valletta, 2017. "Scraping by: Income and Program Participation After the Loss of Extended Unemployment Benefits," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(4), pages 880-908, September.
    2. Ardito, Chiara, 2017. "Rising Pension Age in Italy: Employment Response and Program Substitution," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201722, University of Turin.
    3. Dayanand S. Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2016. "The Effects of the Early Retirement Age on Retirement Decisions," NBER Working Papers 22561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Kyyrä, Tomi & Pesola, Hanna, 2017. "Long-term effects of extended unemployment benefits for older workers," Working Papers 89, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Engels, Barbara & Geyer, Johannes & Haan, Peter, 2017. "Pension incentives and early retirement," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 216-231.
    6. Rafael Lalive & Camille Landais & Josef Zweimüller, 2015. "Market Externalities of Large Unemployment Insurance Extension Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(12), pages 3564-3596, December.
    7. Vestad, Ola Lotherington, 2013. "Labour supply effects of early retirement provision," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 98-109.
    8. Arash Nekoei & Andrea Weber, 2017. "Does Extending Unemployment Benefits Improve Job Quality?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(2), pages 527-561, February.
    9. Songül Tolan, 2017. "The Effect of Partial Retirement on Labor Supply, Public Balances and the Income Distribution: Evidence from a Structural Analysis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1679, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Staubli, Stefan & Zweimüller, Josef, 2013. "Does raising the early retirement age increase employment of older workers?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 17-32.
    11. Welteke, Clara & Geyer, Johannes & Haan, Peter, 2016. "Early retirement eligibility and employment behavior: evidence from a cohort based pension reform," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145783, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Social Insurance and Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10918, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Maciej Lis & Agnieszka Kamińska & Aart-Jan Riekhoff & Izabela Styczynska, 2013. "The Impact of Institutional and Socio-Ecological Drivers on Activity at Older Ages," CASE Network Reports 0115, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    14. repec:wfo:wstudy:46905 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Baguelin, Olivier & Remillon, Delphine, 2014. "Unemployment insurance and management of the older workforce in a dual labor market: Evidence from France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 245-264.
    16. Cristiano Antonelli, 2017. "The Engines of the Creative Response: Reactivity and Knowledge Governance," Economía: teoría y práctica, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, México, vol. 47(2), pages 9-30, Julio-Dic.
    17. Lawson, Nicholas, 2015. "Social program substitution and optimal policy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 13-27.
    18. Pauline Leung & Christopher O'Leary, 2015. "Should UI Eligibility Be Expanded to Low-Earning Workers? Evidence on Employment, Transfer Receipt, and Income from Administrative Data," Working Papers 591, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    19. Josef Zweimüller, 2018. "Unemployment insurance and the labor market," ECON - Working Papers 276, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    20. repec:wfo:wstudy:58532 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Anne Sonnet & Hilde Olsen & Thomas Manfredi, 2014. "Towards More Inclusive Ageing and Employment Policies: The Lessons from France, The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland," De Economist, Springer, vol. 162(4), pages 315-339, December.
    22. Reiso, Katrine Holm, 2014. "The Effect of Welfare Reforms on Benefit Substitution," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 22/2014, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    23. Regina T. Riphahn & Rebecca Schrader, 2017. "Institutional reforms and an incredible rise in old age employment," Working Papers 169, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    24. Elisa Guglielminetti & Rafael Lalive & Philippe Ruh & Etienne Wasmer, 2015. "Spatial search strategies of job seekers and the role of unemployment insurance," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/4n249fe9fu9, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Early retirement; unemployment; disability; policy reform; optimal benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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