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Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells

Bruce Meyer

Econometrica, 1990, vol. 58, issue 4, 757-82

Abstract: This paper tests the effects of the level and length of unemployment insurance benefits on unemployment durations. The paper particularly studies individual behavior during the weeks just prior to when benefits lapse. Higher unemployment insurance benefits are found to have a strong negative effect on the probability of leaving unemployment. However, the probability of leaving unemployment rises dramatically just prior to when benefits lapse. Individual data are used with accurate information of spell durations, and the level and length of benefits. The semiparametric estimation techniques used in the paper yield more plausible estimates than conventional approaches and provide useful diagnostics. Copyright 1990 by The Econometric Society.

Date: 1990
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