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Optimal social assistance and unemployment insurance in a life-cycle model of family labor supply and savings

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  • Haan, Peter
  • Prowse, Victoria

Abstract

We analyze empirically the optimal design of social insurance and assistance programs when families obtain insurance by making labor supply choices for both spouses. For this purpose, we specify a structural life-cycle model of the labor supply and savings decisions of singles and married couples. Partial insurance against wage and employment shocks is provided by social programs, savings and the labor supplies of all adult household members. The optimal policy mix focuses mainly on Social Assistance, which provides a permanent universal household income oor, with a minor role for temporary earnings-related Unemployment Insurance. Reecting that married couples obtain intra-household insurance by making labor supply choices for both spouses, the optimal generosity of Social Assistance decreases in the proportion of married individuals in the population. The link between optimal program design and the family context is strongest in low-educated populations.

Suggested Citation

  • Haan, Peter & Prowse, Victoria, 2015. "Optimal social assistance and unemployment insurance in a life-cycle model of family labor supply and savings," Discussion Papers 2015/17, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201517
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fadlon, Itzik & Nielsen, Torben Heien, 2019. "Household labor supply and the gains from social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 18-28.
    2. Geyer, Johannes & Haan, Peter & Hammerschmid, Anna & Peters, Michael, 2020. "Labor Market and Distributional Effects of an Increase in the Retirement Age," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    3. Haan, Peter & Tolan, Songül, 2019. "Labor supply and fiscal effects of partial retirement – The role of entry age and the timing of pension benefits," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 14(C).
    4. Martin Halla & Julia Schmieder & Andrea Weber, 2020. "Job Displacement, Family Dynamics, and Spousal Labor Supply," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 253-287, October.
    5. Lee, Siha, 2020. "Household responses to disability shocks: Spousal labor supply, caregiving, and disability insurance," CLEF Working Paper Series 21, Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo.
    6. Siha Lee, 2020. "Spousal Labor Supply, Caregiving, and the Value of Disability Insurance," Department of Economics Working Papers 2020-08, McMaster University.
    7. Serdar Birinci, 2019. "Spousal Labor Supply Response to Job Displacement and Implications for Optimal Transfers," Working Papers 2019-020, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised Jan 2020.
    8. Haomin Wang, 2019. "Intra-Household Risk Sharing and Job Search over the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 34, pages 165-182, October.
    9. Haomin Wang, 2019. "Intra-Household Risk Sharing and Job Search over the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 34, pages 165-182, October.
    10. 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..

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    life-cycle labor supply; family labor supply; unemployment insurance; social assistance; design of benefit programs; intra-household insurance; household savings; employment risk; added worker effect;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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