Do extended unemployment benefits lengthen unemployment spells? Evidence from recent cycles in the U.S. Labor market

Henry S. Farber, Robert G. Valletta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

In response to the recession of 2007-2009, the maximum duration of U.S. unemployment insurance (UI) benefits was extended to an unprecedented 99 weeks. We exploit variation in the timing and size of the UI benefit extensions across states to estimate their overall impact on unemployment exits, comparing the most recent and prior extension episodes. We find a small but statistically significant increase in labor force attachment due to extended UI in both periods with little or no impact on job finding. Despite these small estimates, extended benefits can account for a substantial share of the increase in long- term unemployment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)873-909
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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