Equilibrium Unemployment Insurance

UPF Economics and Business Working Paper No. 605

45 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2003

See all articles by John Hassler

John Hassler

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

José Vincente Rodríguez Mora

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Kjetil Storesletten

University of Oslo - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Fabrizio Zilibotti

University of Zurich; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: June 1999

Abstract

In this paper, we incorporate a positive theory of unemployment insurance into a dynamic overlapping generations model with search-matching frictions and on-the-job learning-by-doing. The model shows that societies populated by identical rational agents, but differing in the initial distribution of human capital across agents, may choose very different unemployment insurance levels in a politico-economic equilibrium. The interaction between the political decision about the level of the unemployment insurance and the optimal search behavior of the unemployed gives rise to a self-reinforcing mechanism whichmay generate multiple steady-state equilibria. In particular, a European-type steady-state with high unemployment, low employment turnover and high insurance can co-exist with an American-type steady-state with low unemployment, high employment turnover and low unemployment insurance. A calibrated version of the model features two distinct steady-state equilibria with unemployment levels and duration rates resembling those of the U.S. and Europe, respectively.

Keywords: Comparative advantege, employment, political equilibrium, search, specialization, unemployment insurance

JEL Classification: D72, E24, J24, J64, J65

Suggested Citation

Hassler, John and Rodríguez Mora, José Vincente and Storesletten, Kjetil and Zilibotti, Fabrizio, Equilibrium Unemployment Insurance (June 1999). UPF Economics and Business Working Paper No. 605, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=311585 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.311585

John Hassler (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden
+46 816 2070 (Phone)
+46 816 1443 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

José Vincente Rodríguez Mora

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
+34 93 542 1755 (Phone)
+34 93 542 1746 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Kjetil Storesletten

University of Oslo - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1095 Blindern
N-0317 Oslo
Norway
+47 2284 4009 (Phone)
+47 2285 5035 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://folk.uio.no/kjstore/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Fabrizio Zilibotti

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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