Empirica – Journal of European Economics

Sponsored by the Austrian Economic Association and the Austrian Institute of Economic Research

Empirica publishes empirical and theoretical work on all economic aspects of European Integration. The topics may range from all challenges concerning the deepening of the European Union (Single Market, Lisbon Agenda, EMU) to enlargement and the external relations of the EU (globalisation).

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David Saha, Ronnie Schöb
Unemployment insurance in unionized labor markets with mobile workers: neither Ghent nor centralized
Empirica, 2019, 46(2), S.305-326, http://www.springer.com/10663
This paper analyses unemployment insurance schemes in the presence of mobile workers and trade unions at industry or country level that are capable of internalising the effect of wage demands on unemployment insurance contribution rates. We compare two types of existing unemployment insurance systems. When unemployment insurance is organised at trade union level (decentralized Ghent unemployment insurance), trade unions strategically lower the benefit levels of their unemployment insurance schemes to deter welfare recipients from other unions from entering their unemployment insurance scheme, leading to a race to the bottom in unemployment insurance provision. With centralised provision of unemployment insurance, by contrast, trade unions do not fully account for the cost of higher wages as mobility allows them to partially shift the burden of unemployment to other unemployment insurances. A system of coordinated unemployment insurance, combining a centrally set benefit level with decentralised funding as in Ghent unemployment insurance systems, can circumvent both the strategic benefit setting and the fiscal externality problems, thus reconciling the equity and efficiency aims in the design of unemployment insurance.
Keywords:Unemployment insurance, Ghent system, Trade unions
Forschungsbereich:Arbeitsmarkt, Einkommen und soziale Sicherheit

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Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Fritz Breuss

Funktion: Ökonom (Senior Economist), Managing Editor Empirica