Journal Article

Converting Unemployment Benefits into Employment Subsidies


  • Snower
  • D.J.
Publication Date

This paper explores the implications of giving unemployed people -- particularly the long-term unemployed -- the opportunity to use part of their unemployment benefits to provide employment vouchers to the firms that hire them. The vouchers would depend positively on unemployment duration and training. The paper argues that this policy would give unemployed people and their potential employers an expanded domain of choices in the labour market and thereby reduce the market failures generated and amplified by unemployment benefit systems. A simple theoretical model is presented, followed by preliminary empirical estimates which suggest that the proposed policy may have significant potential in a number of OECD countries.

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JEL Classification
J23, J24, J31, J32, J64

Key Words

  • employment subsidies
  • unemployment
  • Unemployment Benefit Systems