Why is There a Spike in the Job Finding Rate at Benefit Exhaustion?

42 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2009

See all articles by Jan Boone

Jan Boone

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); TILEC

Jan C. van Ours

Tilburg University - Department of Economics; University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

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Abstract

Putting a limit on the duration of unemployment benefits tends to introduce a spike in the job finding rate shortly before benefits are exhausted. Current theories explain this spike from workers' behavior. We present a theoretical model in which also the nature of the job matters. End-of-benefit spikes in job finding rates are related to optimizing behavior of unemployed workers who rationally assume that employers will accept delays in the starting date of a new job, especially if these jobs are permanent. We use a dataset on Slovenian unemployment spells to test this prediction and find supporting evidence. We conclude that the spike in the job finding rate suggests that workers exploit unemployment insurance benefits for subsidized leisure.

Keywords: unemployment benefits, spikes

JEL Classification: J22, I31, J16

Suggested Citation

Boone, Jan and van Ours, Jan C., Why is There a Spike in the Job Finding Rate at Benefit Exhaustion?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4523. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1501939

Jan Boone (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER) ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2399 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

TILEC ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Jan C. Van Ours

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2880 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

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