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Savings for unemployment in good or bad times : options for developing countries

  • Robalino, David
  • Vodopivec, Milan
  • Bodor, Andras

The paper describes and evaluates unemployment insurance savings accounts (UISAs) a relatively new and not well-known way of providing unemployment benefits. The UISAs reduce work disincentives by allowing recipients to keep their own unused unemployment contributions, and offer the possibility to extend coverage to informal sector workers. In addition, if integrated with mandatory pension systems (and even social pensions), UISAs can be rapidly deployed and at a low cost, thus becoming a realistic tool to protect workers from the effects of the financial crisis. Even during normal times, the integration with the pension system and social security in general will give more flexibility to individuals in the management of short and long term savings (i.e., pension wealth) while avoiding unnecessary administrative costs. The paper discusses issues related to incentives, redistribution, and viability, and outlines a policy framework for design and implementation. It argues that the UISAs system is especially attractive for developing countries, where the'self-policing'nature of the system is particularly important given a much larger informal sector and weaker administrative capacity in comparison to developed countries.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 50320.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:50320
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  1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2005. "Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers," Discussion Papers 04-033, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. Florian Baumann & Nikolai Stähler, 2006. "Financing Unemployment Benefits: Dismissal versus Employment Taxes," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(3), pages 433-451, 09.
  3. Holmlund, B., 1997. "Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 380, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  4. Robalino, David A. & Bodor, András, 2009. "On the financial sustainability of earnings-related pension schemes with ‘pay-as-you-go’ financing and the role of government-indexed bonds," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(02), pages 153-187, April.
  5. Hartley, Gonzalo Reyes & van Ours, Jan C. & Vodopivec, Milan, 2011. "Incentive effects of unemployment insurance savings accounts: Evidence from Chile," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 798-809.
  6. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1, July.
  7. Eslava, Marcela & Haltiwanger, John C. & Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2005. "Factor Adjustments after Deregulation: Panel Evidence from Colombian Plants," IZA Discussion Papers 1751, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Martin Feldstein & Daniel Altman, 2007. "Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 21, pages 35-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Adriana D. Kugler, 2004. "The Effect of Job Security Regulations on Labor Market Flexibility. Evidence from the Colombian Labor Market Reform," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 183-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gustavo Gonzaga, 2003. "Labor Turnover and Labor Legislation in Brazil," Textos para discussão 475, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  11. Piggot, John & Robalino, David & Jimenez-Martin, Sergi, 2008. "Incentive Effects of Retirement Income Transfers," MPRA Paper 12020, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Kugler, Adriana D., 2005. "Wage-shifting effects of severance payments savings accounts in Colombia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 487-500, February.
  13. Joseph Stiglitz & Jungyoll Yun, 2002. "Integration of Unemployment Insurance with Retirement Insurance," NBER Working Papers 9199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Milan Vodopivec & Andreas W�rg�tter & Dhushyanth Raju, 2005. "Unemployment Benefit Systems in Central and Eastern Europe: A Review of the 1990s1," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 47(4), pages 615-651, December.
  15. Jan C. van Ours & Milan Vodopivec, 2006. "How Shortening the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits Affects the Duration of Unemployment: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 351-378, April.
  16. Vodopivec, Milan, 2008. "How Viable Are Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts: Simulation Results for Slovenia," IZA Discussion Papers 3438, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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