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Keywords:unemployment insurance 

Report
Individual and Market-Level Effects of UI Policies: Evidence from Missouri

We develop a method to jointly measure the response of worker search effort (individual effect) and vacancy creation (market-level effect) to changes in the duration of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. To implement this approach, we exploit an unexpected cut in UI durations in Missouri and provide quasi-experimental evidence on the effect of UI on the labor market. The data indicate that the cut in Missouri significantly increased job finding rates by both raising the search effort of unemployed workers and the availability of jobs. The latter accounts for at least a third and up to 100 ...
Staff Reports , Paper 905

Working Paper
Using the Eye of the Storm to Predict the Wave of Covid-19 UI Claims

We leverage an event-study research design focused on the seven costliest hurricanes to hit the US mainland since 2004 to identify the elasticity of unemployment insurance filings with respect to search intensity. Applying our elasticity estimate to the state-level Google Trends indexes for the topic “unemployment,” we show that out-of-sample forecasts made ahead of the official data releases for March 21 and 28 predicted to a large degree the extent of the Covid-19 related surge in the demand for unemployment insurance. In addition, we provide a robust assessment of the uncertainty ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2020-10

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
Labor market transitions and the availability of unemployment insurance

Economists often expect unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to elevate unemployment rates because recipients may choose to remain unemployed in order to continue receiving benefits, instead of accepting a job or dropping out of the labor force. This paper uses individual data from the Current Population Survey for the period between 2005 and 2013 ? a period during which the federal government extended and then reduced the length of benefit availability to varying degrees in different states ? to investigate the influence of program parameters in the UI system on monthly transition rates of ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-2

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

Report
Unemployment Benefits and Unemployment in the Great Recession: The Role of Equilibrium Effects

Equilibrium labor market theory suggests that unemployment benefit extensions affect unemployment by impacting both job search decisions by the unemployed and job creation decisions by employers. The existing empirical literature focused on the former effect only. We develop a new methodology necessary to incorporate the measurement of the latter effect. Implementing this methodology in the data, we find that benefit extensions raise equilibrium wages and lead to a sharp contraction in vacancy creation and employment and a rise in unemployment.
Staff Reports , Paper 646

Blog
How Should the Government Spend the Fiscal Budget during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

A mix of expanded unemployment insurance benefits and payroll subsidies to employers may be more effective in speeding up the recovery than implementing just one of those policies.
On the Economy

Journal Article
Preparing Unemployment Insurance for a Downturn: The Carolinas

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the United States saw unemployment rates rise to levels it had not seen since the early 1980s as employers shed workers by the millions. Workers who had lost their jobs could not find other work and flooded into unemployment offices around the nation applying for benefits to ease the shock to their household income. Unemployment insurance claims and payouts soared, straining programs from coast to coast.
Econ Focus , Issue 3Q , Pages 32-35

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

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

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