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Repeat Use of Unemployment Insurance

  • Bruce D. Meyer
  • Dan T. Rosenbaum

We examine the extent to which unemployment insurance (UI) insures workers against unforeseen events or subsidizes firms and workers engaged in temporary layoffs. Our main source of data is a five-year panel of UI administrative records from five states. While most claimants receive UI only once during this period, nearly 40% of claims go to those individuals with three or more years of receipt during the five-year period. Most repeat recipients are concentrated in seasonal industries and are laid off by the same employer each time. We also find that middle-aged and high-paid workers are more likely to be repeat recipients, suggesting that workers in bad jobs are not the individuals who repeatedly receive UI.

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Paper provided by Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University in its series IPR working papers with number 95-24.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:nwuipr:95-24
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  1. Blank, Rebecca M & Card, David E, 1991. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1157-89, November.
  2. Blank, Rebecca M & Ruggles, Patricia, 1994. "Short-Term Recidivism among Public-Assistance Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 49-53, May.
  3. Miles Corak, 1993. "Unemployment Insurance Once Again: The Incidence of Repeat Participation in the Canadian UI Program," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 19(2), pages 162-176, June.
  4. Topel, Robert H, 1983. "On Layoffs and Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 541-59, September.
  5. Patricia M. Anderson & Bruce D. Meyer, 1993. "The Unemployment Insurance Payroll Tax and Interindustry and Interfirm Subsidies," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7, pages 111-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. repec:mpr:mprres:652 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. David Card & Phillip B. Levine, 1992. "Unemployment Insurance Taxes and the Cyclical and Seasonal Properties of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 4030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, . "Repeat Use of Unemployment Insurance," IPR working papers 95-24, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  9. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Temporary Layoffs in the Theory of Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 937-57, October.
  10. Martin Neil Bailey, 1977. "Unemployment insurance as insurance for workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 495-504, July.
  11. Anderson, Patricia M, 1993. "Linear Adjustment Costs and Seasonal Labor Demand: Evidence from Retail Trade Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1015-42, November.
  12. Patricia M. Anderson & Bruce D. Meyer, 1994. "The Effects of Unemployment Insurance Taxes and Benefits on Layoffs Using Firm and Individual Data," NBER Working Papers 4960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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