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Racial Inequality in Unemployment Insurance Receipt and Take-Up

Elira Kuka () and Bryan Stuart

No 22-09, Working Papers from Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Abstract: This paper studies differences in receipt and take-up of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits among White and Black individuals. We combine state-level UI regulations with data containing detailed information on individuals’ work history and UI receipt. Black individuals who separate from a job are 24% less likely to receive UI than White individuals. The UI receipt gap stems primarily from lower take-up of UI benefits among likely eligible individuals, as opposed to differences in benefit eligibility. Statistical decompositions indicate that about one-half of the take-up gap is explained by Black workers’ lower pre-unemployment earnings and higher tendency to live in the South.

Keywords: racial inequality; unemployment insurance; take-up; social insurance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H5 I38 J15 J65 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30
Date: 2022-03-24
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban, nep-ias and nep-lab
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DOI: 10.21799/frbp.wp.2022.09

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