Scraping by: Income and Program Participation after the Loss of Extended Unemployment Benefits

59 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2017

See all articles by Jesse Rothstein

Jesse Rothstein

University of California, Berkeley, The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy; University of California, Berkeley, College of Letters & Science, Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert G. Valletta

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2017

Abstract

Many Unemployment Insurance (UI) recipients do not find new jobs before exhausting their benefits, even when benefits are extended during recessions. Using SIPP panel data covering the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions and their aftermaths, we identify individuals whose jobless spells outlasted their UI benefits (exhaustees) and examine household income, program participation, and health-related outcomes during the six months following UI exhaustion. For the average exhaustee, the loss of UI benefits is only slightly offset by increased participation in other safety net programs (e.g., food stamps), and family poverty rates rise substantially. Self-reported disability also rises following UI exhaustion. These patterns do not vary dramatically across the UI extension episodes, household demographic groups, or broad income level prior to job loss. The results highlight the unique, important role of UI in the U.S. social safety net.

Suggested Citation

Rothstein, Jesse and Valletta, Robert G., Scraping by: Income and Program Participation after the Loss of Extended Unemployment Benefits (June 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23528. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2988749

Jesse Rothstein (Contact Author)

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Robert G. Valletta

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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