Unemployment and Unemployment “Benefits”

From the Abstract of the Naitonal Bureau of Economic Research’s just-released paper, The Impact of Unemployment Benefit Extensions on Employment: The 2014 Employment Miracle? by Marcus Hagedorn, Iourii Manovskii, and Kurt Mitman [emphasis added]:

We measure the effect of unemployment benefit duration on employment. We exploit the variation induced by the decision of Congress in December 2013 not to reauthorize the unprecedented benefit extensions introduced during the Great Recession. Federal benefit extensions that ranged from 0 to 47 weeks across US states at the beginning of December 2013 were abruptly cut to zero. To achieve identification we use the fact that this policy change was exogenous to cross-sectional differences across US states and we exploit a policy discontinuity at state borders. We find that a 1% drop in benefit duration leads to a statistically significant increase of employment by 0.0161 log points. In levels, 1.8 million additional jobs were created in 2014 due to the benefit cut. Almost 1 million of these jobs were filled by workers from out of the labor force who would not have participated in the labor market had benefit extensions been reauthorized.

If you want more of something, you subsidize it. The Democrats, since the Panic of 2008, have demanded ever more unemployment benefits, and it was only over their objections that the repeated extensions were halted and unemployment benefits stopped.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *