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Keywords:Unemployment Insurance 

Journal Article
Federal Enhancements to Unemployment Insurance Supported Tenth District Incomes in 2020

Federal supplements to state unemployment insurance mitigated income losses from COVID-19-related disruptions across the country. In the Tenth Federal Reserve District, many workers who lost jobs had their wages at least fully replaced by federally supported unemployment insurance. In some district states, total income—the sum of unemployment benefits and wages earned from employment—exceeded levels that might have been observed in the absence of the pandemic.
Economic Bulletin

Working Paper
Labor Market Responses to Unemployment Insurance: The Role of Heterogeneity

We document considerable scope of heterogeneity within the unemployed, especially when the unemployed are divided along eligibility and receipt of unemployment insurance (UI). We study the implications of this heterogeneity on UI’s insurance-incentive trade-off using a heterogeneous-agent job-search model capable of matching the wealth and income differences that distinguish UI recipients from non-recipients. Insurance benefits are larger for UI recipients who are predominantly wealth-poor. Meanwhile, incentive costs are nonmonotonic in wealth because the poorest individuals, who value ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-022

Working Paper
Designing Unemployment Insurance for Developing Countries

The high incidence of informality in the labor markets of middle-income economies challenges the provision of unemployment protection. We show that, despite informational frictions, introducing an unemployment insurance savings account (UISA) system may provide substantial benefits. This system improves welfare by providing insurance to the unemployed and creating incentives to work in the formal sector. The optimal scheme generates a reduction in unemployment (from 4 to 3 percent), an increase in formality (from 68 to 72 percent), and a rise in total output (by 4 percent). Overall, ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-006

Working Paper
Optimal Unemployment Insurance and International Risk Sharing

We discuss how cross-country unemployment insurance can be used to improve international risk sharing. We use a two-country business cycle model with incomplete financial markets and frictional labor markets where the unemployment insurance scheme operates across both countries. Cross-country insurance through the unemployment insurance system can be achieved without affecting unemployment outcomes. The Ramsey-optimal policy however prescribes a more countercyclical replacement rate when international risk sharing concerns enter the unemployment insurance trade-off. We calibrate our model to ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-054

Working Paper
Optimal Unemployment Insurance Requirements

In the US, workers must satisfy two requirements to receive unemployment insurance (UI): a tenure requirement of a minimum work spell and a monetary requirement of past minimum earnings. Using discontinuity of UI rules at state borders, we find that the monetary requirement decreases the number of employers and the share of part-time workers, while the tenure requirement has the opposite effect. In a quantitative model, the monetary requirement induces workers to stay longer in unemployment because low-paying jobs are not covered by UI. Since it mitigates moral hazard, the optimal UI design ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-10R

The Impact of COVID-19 on Labor Markets across the U.S.

On the Economy

Working Paper
How Should Unemployment Insurance Vary over the Business Cycle?

We study optimal unemployment insurance (UI) over the business cycle using a heterogeneous agent job search model with aggregate risk and incomplete markets. We validate the model-implied micro and macro labor market elasticities to changes in UI generosity against existing estimates, and provide an explanation for divergent empirical findings. We show that generating the observed demographic differences between UI recipients and non-recipients is critical in determining the magnitudes of these elasticities. We find that the optimal policy features countercyclical replacement rates with ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-022

Expected U.S. Macroeconomic Performance during the Pandemic Adjustment Period

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard recommends declaring a “National Pandemic Adjustment Period” and discusses three broad goals of macroeconomic policy during this period.
On the Economy

Working Paper
The Value of Unemployment Insurance: Liquidity vs. Insurance Value

This paper argues that the value of unemployment insurance (UI) can be decomposed into a liquidity component and an insurance component. While the liquidity component captures the value of relieving the cost to access liquidity during unemployment, the insurance component captures the value of protecting the worker against a potential permanent future income loss. We develop a novel sufficient statistics method to identify each component that requires only the labor supply responses to changes in the potential duration of UI and severance payment and implement it using Spanish administrative ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-16

Working Paper
Optimal Unemployment Insurance Requirements

In the US, unemployed workers must satisfy two requirements to receive unemployment insurance (UI): a tenure requirement that stipulates the minimum qualifying work spell and a monetary requirement that determines a past minimum wage. This paper develops a heterogeneous agents model with history-dependent UI benefits in order to quantitatively obtain an optimal UI program design. We first conduct an empirical analysis using the discontinuity of UI rules at state borders and find that both the monetary and the tenure requirement reduce unemployment. The monetary requirement decreases the ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-10


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