The Long-Term Effects of Unemployment Insurance Extensions on Employment
10 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2012 Last revised: 5 Sep 2021
Date Written: February 2012
The majority of papers analyzing the employment effects of unemployment insurance (UI) benefit durations focuses on the duration of the first unemployment spell. In this paper, we make two contributions. First, we use a regression discontinuity design to analyze the long-term effects of extensions in UI durations. These estimates differ from standard estimates that they incorporate differences in UI benefit receipt and employment due to recurrent unemployment spells. Second, we derive a welfare formula of UI extensions that incorporates recurrent nonemployment spells. We find that accounting for nonemployment beyond the initial spell leads to a significant reduction in estimates of the nonemployment effect of UI extensions by about 25 percent. We show this effect is only partly explained by a mechanical effect due to finite follow-up durations, and mainly arises from a lower probability of days in nonemployment in months after end of the initial nonemployment spell.
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