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Cross-country unemployment insurance, transfers, and trade-offs in international risk sharing

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  • Enders, Zeno
  • Vespermann, David

Abstract

We assess to which degree an international transfer mechanism can enhance consumption risk sharing as well as allocative efficiency and apply our results to a potential European unemployment benefit scheme (EUBS). Specifically, we first develop a simple model with nominal rigidities to build intuition by deriving analytical results. We then use a rich DSGE model, calibrated to the Core and the Periphery of the euro area, to quantitatively analyze the changing dynamics that a EUBS brings about. We find that a EUBS can provide risk sharing by stabilizing relative consumption as well as unemployment. Following supply shocks, however, the cross-country transfer embodied in the unemployment benefits is spent to a large degree on relatively inefficiently produced goods in the receiving countries. This renders the allocation even more inefficient by opening country-specific labor wedges further, also after government-spending shocks. Yet, since this trade-off between allocative efficiency and consumption risk sharing does not exist after certain demand shocks, the welfare effects of a EUBS depend on the cause for international unemployment differentials. A EUBS that is only active after specific shocks would therefore maximize overall welfare. Even without this feature, a EUBS would raise welfare in the Core, leaving the Periphery's welfare almost unchanged.

Suggested Citation

  • Enders, Zeno & Vespermann, David, 2021. "Cross-country unemployment insurance, transfers, and trade-offs in international risk sharing," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242430, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc21:242430
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    1. Giovannini, Alessandro & Ioannou, Demosthenes & Stracca, Livio, 2022. "Public and private risk sharing: friends or foes? The interplay between different forms of risk sharing," Occasional Paper Series 295, European Central Bank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cross-country transfers; international unemployment insurance; EMUEuropean business cycles; Optimum Currency Area; Structural reforms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F45 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Macroeconomic Issues of Monetary Unions
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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