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Author:Xie, Zoe 

Working Paper
A Quantitative Theory of Time-Consistent Unemployment Insurance

During recessions, the U.S. government substantially increases the duration of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits through multiple extensions. This paper seeks to understand the incentives driving these increases. Because of the trade-off between insurance and job search incentives, the classic time-inconsistency problem arises. During recessions, the U.S. government substantially increases the duration of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits through multiple extensions. This paper seeks to understand the incentives driving these extensions. Because of the trade-off between insurance and ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2016-11

Working Paper
Unemployment Insurance during a Pandemic

The CARES Act implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis dramatically increased the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, triggering concerns about substantial effects on unemployment. This paper combines a labor market search-matching model with the SIR-type infection dynamics to study the effects of the CARES Act UI on both unemployment and infection. More generous UI policies create work disincentives and lead to higher unemployment but also reduce infection and save lives. Economic shutdown policies further amplify these effects of UI policies. Quantitatively, the CARES ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 20-07

Discussion Paper
Changes in State Unemployment Insurance Rules during the COVID-19 Outbreak in the U.S.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented expansion in unemployment insurance (UI) eligibility across states. While more than forty states had modified UI rules by the end of March, not all states responded in the same way. In this article, I summarize the changes to state UI rules in response to the crisis and explore factors that have contributed to the variation in states’ responses.
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-2

Working Paper
Decentralization and Overborrowing in a Fiscal Federation

We build an infinite horizon equilibrium model of fiscal federation, where anticipation of transfers from the central government creates incentives for local governments to overborrow. Absent commitment, the central government over-transfers, which distorts the central-local distribution of resources. Applying the model to fiscal decentralization, we find when decentralization widens local governments? fiscal gap, borrowings by both local and central governments rise. Quantitatively, fiscal decentralization accounts for from 19 percent to 40 percent of changes in general government debt in ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2018-9

Working Paper
Delayed Collection of Unemployment Insurance in Recessions

Using variations in unemployment insurance policies over time and across U.S. states, this paper provides evidence that allowing unemployed workers to delay the collection of benefits increases their job-finding rate. In a model with discrete job take-up decisions, benefit entitlement, wage-indexed benefits, and heterogeneous job types, I demonstrate that the policy can increase an unemployed worker's willingness to work, even though more benefits in general reduce the relative value of employment. In a calibrated quantitative model, I find that allowing delayed benefit collection increases ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2019-14

Discussion Paper
The CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Program during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The outbreak of COVID-19 led to widespread shutdowns in March and April 2020 and an historically unprecedented increase in the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) through the CARES Act. This article summarizes the key policy-relevant results from Fang, Nie, and Xie (2020), whose research examines the interactions of virus infection risk, shutdown policy, and increased UI generosity.
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-16

Working Paper
Unemployment Insurance during a Pandemic

The CARES Act implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis dramatically increases the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, triggering concerns about its substantial impact on unemployment. This paper combines a labor market search-matching model with the SIR-type infection dynamics to study the effects of CARES UI on both unemployment and infection. More generous UI policies create work disincentives and lead to higher unemployment, but they also reduce infection and save lives. Shutdown policies and infection risk further amplify these effects of UI policies. Quantitatively, ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-13a

Working Paper
Unemployment Insurance during a Pandemic

The CARES Act implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis dramatically increases the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, triggering concerns about its substantial impact on unemployment. This paper combines a labor market search-matching model with the SIR-type infection dynamics to study the effects of CARES UI on both unemployment and infection. More generous UI policies create work disincentives and lead to higher unemployment, but they also reduce infection and save lives. Economic shutdown policies further amplify these effects of UI policies. Quantitatively, the CARES ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-13

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