A Positive Theory of Geographic Mobility and Social Insurance
41 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2005
This article presents a tractable dynamic general equilibrium model explaining cross-country data on geographical mobility, unemployment, and labor market institutions. Rational forward-looking agents vote on unemployment insurance (UI). Agents with higher moving costs (larger attachment to their location) prefer more generous UI. Attachment is assumed to increase with the duration of residence. UI mitigates incentives for moving and increases, therefore, the fraction of attached agents and the political support for UI. This self-reinforcing mechanism can yield two steady-states: one "European" and one "American." The former (latter) features high (low) unemployment, low (high) geographical mobility, and high (low) UI.
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