Optimal Umemployment Insurance Design: Time Limits, Monitoring, or Workfare?

31 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2003

See all articles by Peter Fredriksson

Peter Fredriksson

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Uppsala University - Department of Economics

Bertil Holmlund

Uppsala University - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: August 2003

Abstract

This paper analyses crucial design features of unemployment insurance (UI) policies. We examine three different means of improving the efficiency of UI: the duration of benefit payments, monitoring in conjunction with sanctions, and workfare. To that end we develop a quantitative model of equilibrium unemployment. The model features worker heterogeneity, which takes the form of differences in preferences for leisure. All the instruments are ways of limiting the duration of UI benefit receipt and the model can be used to compare them in a coherent fashion. The analysis suggests that a system with monitoring and sanctions restores search incentives most effectively, since it brings additional incentives to search actively so as to avoid the sanction. Therefore, the UI provider can offer a more generous UI replacement rate in a system with monitoring and sanctions than in the other two systems. Workfare appears to be inferior to the other two systems.

Keywords: unemployment insurance, search, monitoring, sanctions, workfare

JEL Classification: J64, J65, J68

Suggested Citation

Fredriksson, Peter and Holmlund, Bertil, Optimal Umemployment Insurance Design: Time Limits, Monitoring, or Workfare? (August 2003). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=437406

Peter Fredriksson

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Uppsala University - Department of Economics ( email )

SE-75120 Uppsala
Sweden
+46 18 471 7079 (Phone)
+46 18 471 1478 (Fax)

Bertil Holmlund (Contact Author)

Uppsala University - Department of Economics ( email )

SE-75120 Uppsala
Sweden
+46 18 471 1122 (Phone)
+46 18 471 1478 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nek.uu.se/faculty/holmlund/index.html

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

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