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Optimal unemployment insurance and international risk sharing

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  • Moyen, Stéphane
  • Stähler, Nikolai
  • Winkler, Fabian

Abstract

We discuss how cross-country unemployment insurance can be used to improve international risk sharing. We use a two-country business cycle model with incomplete financial markets and frictional labor markets where the unemployment insurance scheme operates across both countries. Cross-country insurance through the unemployment insurance system can be achieved without affecting unemployment outcomes. The Ramsey-optimal policy however prescribes a more countercyclical replacement rate when international risk sharing concerns enter the unemployment insurance trade-off. We calibrate our model to Eurozone data and find that optimal stabilizing transfers through the unemployment insurance system are sizable and mainly stabilize consumption in the periphery countries, while optimal replacement rates are countercylical overall. Moreover, we find that debt-financed national policies are a poor substitute for fiscal transfers.

Suggested Citation

  • Moyen, Stéphane & Stähler, Nikolai & Winkler, Fabian, 2016. "Optimal unemployment insurance and international risk sharing," Discussion Papers 33/2016, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdps:332016
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    Cited by:

    1. Mathias Dolls & Clemens Fuest & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl, 2018. "An unemployment insurance scheme for the euro area? A comparison of different alternatives using microdata," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(1), pages 273-309, February.
    2. Marius Clemens & Guillaume Claveres, 2017. "Unemployment Insurance Union," 2017 Meeting Papers 1340, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Gadatsch, Niklas & Hollmayr, Josef & Stähler, Nikolai, 2016. "Thoughts on a fiscal union in EMU," Discussion Papers 40/2016, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    4. Verstegen, Loes, 2017. "On fiscal and monetary integration in Europe," Other publications TiSEM 49f73a6c-d32d-4dff-b5ec-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Bandiera, Guilherme & Pappa, Evi & Sajedi, Rana & Vella, Eugenia, 2016. "Fiscal consolidation in a low inflation environment: pay cuts versus lost jobs," Bank of England working papers 628, Bank of England.
    6. Matthaei, Stephan & Stähler, Nikolai, 2016. "Macroeconomic implications of the German financial equalization system," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145695, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment Insurance; International Business Cycles; Fiscal Union; International Risk Sharing;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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