Supply Side Hysterisis: the Case of the Canadian Unemployment Insurancesystem
50 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 1999 Last revised: 9 May 2000
Date Written: September 1998
This paper presents results from a 1971 natural experiment carried out by the Canadian government on the unemployment insurance system. At that time, they dramatically increased the generosity of the system. We find that the propensity to collect UI increases with a first time exposure to the system. Hence as more individuals experience unemployment their lifetime use of the system increases. This supply side hysterisis effect may explain why unemployment has steadily increased over the 1972 - 1992 period, even though the generosity of unemployment insurance did not.
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