Do People with Specific Skills Want More Social Insurance? Not in the United States

Economics & Politics. 2014. DOI: 10.1111/ecpo.12043

Posted: 31 Mar 2012 Last revised: 2 Aug 2014

See all articles by Jeffrey F. Timmons

Jeffrey F. Timmons

NYU Abu Dhabi

Jerry Nickelsburg

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson Forecast

Date Written: May 14, 2014

Abstract

Skill specificity is thought to increase preferences for social insurance (Iversen and Soskice 2001), especially where employment protections are low, notably the United States (Gingrich and Ansell 2012). The compensating differentials literature, by contrast, suggests that neither skill specificity, nor labor market protections affect preferences when wages adjust for differences in risks and investment costs. We examine these competing predictions using US data on general and specific skills. Absolute and relative skill specificity have a robust positive correlation with income, but are negatively correlated with preferences for social protection. Our results strongly support the compensating differentials approach.

Keywords: specific skills, labor markets, social insurance, risks, preferences, wages

JEL Classification: P16, J38, J24, J68, H0, H55, D72

Suggested Citation

Timmons, Jeffrey F. and Nickelsburg, Jerry, Do People with Specific Skills Want More Social Insurance? Not in the United States (May 14, 2014). Economics & Politics. 2014. DOI: 10.1111/ecpo.12043. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2031127 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2031127

Jeffrey F. Timmons (Contact Author)

NYU Abu Dhabi ( email )

PO Box 129188
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
(971) 262 84523 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://nyuad.nyu.edu/en/academics/faculty/jeffrey-timmons.html

Jerry Nickelsburg

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson Forecast ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza, Suite C525
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

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