Series # :
  OWSOP 85-4
Title :
  The Effect of the Duration of Unemployment Benefits on Work Incentives: An Analysis of Four Data Sets
Release Date :
Abstract :
  This report is concerned the effect of changes in the potential duration of unemployment insurance benefits on the length of spells of unemployment and nonwork. An unemployment spell is a period of time during which the individual is looking for work, and a nonwork spell is a period of time during which the individual is either looking for work or out of the labor force. The report is particularly concerned with the effect of benefit extensions, such as the Extended Benefit (EB) programs, during recessionary periods. During recessions, exhaustion rates under regular UI rise and unemployment spells lengthen. This study is concerned with whether benefit extension s during such periods increase the unemployment spell beyond what it would be otherwise, beyond what is necessary to find suitable employment. Benefit extensions provide an incentive for individuals to lengthen their spells, but whether they act on it or not is an empirical question.

Publication Author(s)
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
  • Robert Moffitt
Full Text Document(s)


Additional Information

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