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Strengthening Enforcement in Unemployment Insurance. A Natural Experiment

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  • Schiprowski, Amelie
  • Arni, Patrick
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    Imposing benefit cuts to job seekers who do not comply with rules and requirements has become a commonly used enforcement device in unemployment insurance (UI) systems. This paper provides first estimates of how non-compliant job seekers react when confronted with a stricter enforcement regime. We exploit an administrative reform which induced a sharp and unanticipated increase in the probability of receiving a benefit cut in response to the failure of documenting job search effort. Our difference-in-difference framework uses as a control group job seekers with other types of non-compliances, whose enforcement rules stayed constant. We find that the probability of job finding within the three months following non-compliance detection increases by 5 p.p. in reaction to the reform. This effect is however purely driven by exits to unstable jobs. Increased enforcement strictness thus appears to pressure job seekers into accepting job matches of lower quality. Estimating the effects on post-unemployment earnings is work in progress.

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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/145723/1/VfS_2016_pid_6732.pdf
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    Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change with number 145723.

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    Date of creation: 2016
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145723
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
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    1. Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw, 2006. "Counseling And Monitoring Of Unemployed Workers: Theory And Evidence From A Controlled Social Experiment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 895-936, 08.
    2. Terry R. Johnson & Daniel H. Klepinger, 1994. "Experimental Evidence on Unemployment Insurance Work-Search Policies," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 665-717.
    3. David Card & Jochen Kluve & Andrea Weber, 2010. "Active Labour Market Policy Evaluations: A Meta-Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(548), pages 452-477, November.
    4. Ashenfelter, Orley & Ashmore, David & Deschenes, Olivier, 2005. "Do unemployment insurance recipients actively seek work? Evidence from randomized trials in four U.S. States," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 53-75.
    5. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. Berg & Jan C. Ours, 2005. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions on the Transition Rate from Unemployment to Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 602-630, 07.
    6. Bruce D. Meyer, 1995. "Lessons from the U.S. Unemployment Insurance Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 91-131, March.
    7. Patrick Arni & Rafael Lalive & Jan C. Van Ours, 2013. "How Effective Are Unemployment Benefit Sanctions? Looking Beyond Unemployment Exit," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 1153-1178, November.
    8. Bas Van der Klaauw & Jan C. Van Ours, 2013. "Carrot And Stick: How Re‐Employment Bonuses And Benefit Sanctions Affect Exit Rates From Welfare," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 275-296, March.
    9. Petrongolo, Barbara, 2009. "The long-term effects of job search requirements: Evidence from the UK JSA reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1234-1253, December.
    10. Marco Caliendo & Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Arne Uhlendorff, 2013. "Benefit Duration, Unemployment Duration And Job Match Quality: A Regression‐Discontinuity Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4), pages 604-627, June.
    11. Nicola Pavoni & G. L. Violante, 2007. "Optimal Welfare-to-Work Programs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 283-318.
    12. Daniel H. Klepinger & Terry R. Johnson & Jutta M. Joesch, 2002. "Effects of Unemployment Insurance Work-Search Requirements: The Maryland Experiment," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 3-22, October.
    13. McVicar, Duncan, 2008. "Job search monitoring intensity, unemployment exit and job entry: Quasi-experimental evidence from the UK," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1451-1468, December.
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