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Balázs Reizer and Attila Lindner published in American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

Vol. 12 No. 3 July 2020

Front-Loading the Unemployment Benefit: An Empirical Assessment

Attila Lindner – Balázs Reizer
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics vol. 12, no. 3, July 2020
(pp. 140-74)

Abstract

We estimate the effect of front-loading unemployment benefit payments on nonemployment duration and reemployment wages. Exploiting a sharp change in the path of benefits for those who claimed unemployment benefits after November 1, 2005 in Hungary, we show that nonemployment duration fell by two weeks, while reemployment wages rose by 1.4 percent as a result of front-loading. We show that these behavioral responses were large enough to offset the mechanical cost increase of the unemployment insurance. We argue that our results indicate that benefit front-loading was a Pareto improving policy reform as both unemployed and employed workers were made better off.

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