Title

Unemployment Insurance and Means-Tested Program Interactions: Evidence from Administrative Data

Publication Date

4-30-2020

Source

American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 12(2): 159-192

Abstract

We study the ways in which unemployment insurance (UI) benefits interact with other elements of the social safety net around job losses. We exploit a cutoff for UI eligibility, based on a workers' highest quarterly earnings in the past year, to generate quasi-experimental variation in UI receipt. We find that UI receipt cuts welfare (TANF) receipt by half among low-earning UI applicants but has no impact on SNAP or Medicaid usage. However, because welfare participation is low in this population, overall crowdout is small. In the quarter following layoff, UI increases total income by 55 percent (including labor earnings and transfers).

DOI

10.1257/pol.20170262

Publisher

American Economic Association

Subject Areas

UNEMPLOYMENT, DISABILITY, and INCOME SUPPORT PROGRAMS; Unemployment insurance

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Citation

Leung, Pauline and Christopher O'Leary. 2020. "Unemployment Insurance and Means-Tested Program Interactions: Evidence from Administrative Data." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 12(2): 159-192. https://doi.org/10.1257/pol.20170262