This paper estimates the welfare gain (i.e. ratio of liquidity to moral hazard effect) of extending UI benefits, using two natural experiments in Taiwan: a three-month benefits extension for middle-aged job losers and the introduction of a re-employment bonus. Our strategy exploits the fact that a re-employment bonus affects an individual's search efforts only through the moral hazard effect. Therefore, we recover liquidity effects by estimating the responses of the search effort to a UI extension and a re-employment bonus. We find that the estimated liquidity-to-moral hazard ratio of extending UI benefits is around 3.9, suggesting that the welfare gain of extending potential benefit duration is substantially larger than that of increasing benefit level.
Learning from Taiwan Workshop, Seoul National University, Seoul National University