Asset Based Unemployment Insurance
Title: Asset Based Unemployment Insurance
Author: RENDAHL, Pontus
Publisher: European University Institute
Series/Number: EUI ECO; 2007/15
This paper studies a model of optimal redistribution policies in which agents face unemployment risk and in which savings may provide partial self-insurance. Moral hazard arises as job search effort is unobservable. The optimal redistribution policies provide new insights into how an unemployment insurance scheme should be designed: First, the unemployment insurance policy is recursive in an agent's wealth level, and thus independent of the duration of the unemployment spell. Second, the level of benefit payments is negatively related to the agent's asset position. The reason behind the latter result is twofold; in addition to the first-order insurance effect of wealth, an increase in non-labor income (wealth) amplifies the opportunity cost of employment and thus reduces the agent's incentive to search for a job. During unemployment the agent decumulates assets and the sequence of benefit payments is observationally increasing - a result that stands in sharp contrast with previous studies.
Subject: D82; H21; J64; J65; Unemployment insurance; Moral hazard; Self-insurance; Decentralized taxes
Type of Access: openAccess