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Author:Birinci, Serdar 

Working Paper
Labor Market Responses to Unemployment Insurance: The Role of Heterogeneity

We document considerable scope of heterogeneity within the unemployed, especially when the unemployed are divided along eligibility and receipt of unemployment insurance (UI). We study the implications of this heterogeneity on UI’s insurance-incentive trade-off using a heterogeneous-agent job-search model capable of matching the wealth and income differences that distinguish UI recipients from non-recipients. Insurance benefits are larger for UI recipients who are predominantly wealth-poor. Meanwhile, incentive costs are nonmonotonic in wealth because the poorest individuals, who value ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-022

Working Paper
Job Applications and Labor Market Flows

Job applications have risen over time yet job-finding rates remain unchanged. Meanwhile, separations have declined. We argue that increased applications raise the probability of a good match rather than the probability of job-finding. Using a search model with multiple applications and costly information, we show that when applications increase, firms invest in identifying good matches, reducing separations. Concurrently, increased congestion and selectivity over which offer to accept temper increases in job-finding rates. Our framework contains testable implications for changes in offers, ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-023

Working Paper
Spousal Labor Supply Response to Job Displacement and Implications for Optimal Transfers

I document a small spousal earnings response to the job displacement of the family head. The response is even smaller in recessions, when additional insurance is most valuable. I investigate whether the small response is an outcome of the crowding-out effects of existing government transfers, using a model where labor supply elasticities with respect to transfers are in line with microeconomic estimates both in aggregate and across subpopulations. Counterfactual experiments reveal that generous transfers in recessions discourage the spousal labor supply significantly. I then show that the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-020

Working Paper
Immigrant Misallocation

We quantify the barriers that impede the integration of immigrants into foreign labor markets and investigate their aggregate implications. We develop a model of occupational choice with natives and immigrants of multiple types whose decisions are subject to wedges which distort their allocation across occupations. We estimate the model to match salient features of U.S. and cross-country individual-level data. We find that there are sizable GDP gains from removing the wedges faced by immigrants in U.S. labor markets, accounting for approximately one-fifth of the overall economic contribution ...
Working Papers , Paper 2021-004

Journal Article
The Great Resignation vs. The Great Reallocation: Industry-Level Evidence

Some workers have experienced the Great Resignation, but others have gone through the Great Reallocation— transferring from one job to another.
Economic Synopses , Issue 4 , Pages 1-2

How Job Separations Differed between the Great Recession and COVID-19 Recession

Both the Great Recession and the COVID-19 recession created huge shocks to the U.S. labor market. But job separation rates hit income groups differently during the two downturns.
On the Economy

Working Paper
What Do Survey Data Tell Us about US Businesses?

This paper examines the reliability of survey data on business incomes, valuations, and rates of return, which are key inputs for studies of wealth inequality and entrepreneurial choice. We compare survey responses of business owners with available data from administrative tax records, brokered private business sales, and publicly traded company filings and document problems due to nonrepresentative samples and measurement errors across all surveys, subsamples, and years. We find that the discrepancies are economically relevant for the statistics of interest. We investigate reasons for these ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-021

Working Paper
How Should Unemployment Insurance Vary over the Business Cycle?

We study optimal unemployment insurance (UI) over the business cycle using a heterogeneous agent job search model with aggregate risk and incomplete markets. We validate the model-implied micro and macro labor market elasticities to changes in UI generosity against existing estimates, and provide an explanation for divergent empirical findings. We show that generating the observed demographic differences between UI recipients and non-recipients is critical in determining the magnitudes of these elasticities. We find that the optimal policy features countercyclical replacement rates with ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-022

Journal Article
Unintended Consequences of Coronavirus-Related Unemployment Insurance Tax Laws

Waived employer payroll tax increases for state unemployment insurance appear to have increased layoffs.
Economic Synopses , Issue 21

Journal Article
Which Earnings Groups Have Been Most Affected by the COVID-19 Crisis?

When the pandemic caused unemployment to skyrocket, the lowest earners were the hardest hit.
Economic Synopses , Issue 37

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