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How UI Benefit Generosity Affects Job Quality

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This project examines whether more generous Unemployment Insurance benefits allow workers to find better jobs.


When workers are laid off from their job, they are often eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. These benefits typically replace about 50% of a worker’s prior income each week, up to a maximum weekly benefit of $450 per week. While previous research has shown that more generous benefits tend to prolong unemployment spells, the extent to which more generous benefits also allow displaced workers to find higher-quality jobs is less clear.

Research Project

This project studies the causal effect of UI benefit generosity on various measures of future job quality, as measured by earnings, job stability, and the size of the employer.  Using administrative UI claims data, we will create causal estimates of the extent to which a larger weekly benefit amount affects future employment outcomes.

Research Team

Professor Till von Wachter (Principal Investigator), Dr. Alex Bell, TJ Hedin, and Dr. Geoff Schnorr 



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