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Keywords:Unemployment Insurance 

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

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

On the Economy

Blog
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
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
Designing Unemployment Insurance for Developing Countries

The benefits of implementing Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts (UISAs) are studied in the presence of the multiple sources of information frictions often existing in developing countries. A benchmark incomplete markets economy is calibrated to Mexico in the early 2000s. The unconstrained optimal allocation would imply very large welfare gains relative to the benchmark economy (similar to an increase in consumption of 23% in every period). More importantly, in presence of multiple sources of information frictions, about half of those potential gains can be accrued through the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-6

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
How Should Unemployment Insurance Vary over the Business Cycle?

We study optimal unemployment insurance (UI) over the business cycle using a tractable heterogeneous agent job that features labor productivity driven business cycles and incomplete asset markets, and find that UI policy should be countercyclical. In this framework, besides providing consumption insurance upon job loss, generous UI payments allow individuals to maintain similar consumption levels even during recessions, when they would otherwise have had to accumulate savings by reducing consumption.Moreover, the presence of borrowing constrains disciplines the unemployed's job search ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-022

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

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 develop a heterogeneous-agent job-search model capable of matching the wealth and income differences that distinguish UI recipients from non-recipients. Labor market responses to UI changes are non-monotonic in wealth because the poorest individuals exhibit weak responses due to the high value they attribute to employment. Differential elasticities imply that the extent to which structural models account for the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-022

Blog
COVID-19: Which Workers Face the Highest Unemployment Risk?

Some 46% of U.S. workers are employed in occupations at “high risk” of layoff due to COVID-19 measures. How much could it cost to offset their lost income?
On the Economy

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