Effect of unemployment insurance benefits on match quality and job mobility

Project Summary:

The authors will examine whether unemployment insurance benefit extensions improve job match quality. A longstanding question regarding unemployment insurance is whether recipients make use of funds to finance longer job searches, therefore finding better jobs. Most studies to date have examined wages and have found no effect, but if this project is able to find effects on match quality then it will make an important contribution. It could also be important to understanding the role that unemployment insurance plays in improving worker outcomes and overall macroeconomic performance. Unemployment insurance is typically understood by policymakers as a social insurance program. The idea that it might improve productivity by facilitating better match quality is poorly understood, and key to better understanding policy levers for macro performance.


Adriana Kugler is a Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. She served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Labor in 2011 and 2012, where she worked actively on developing policies and proposals on unemployment insurance, training programs, retirement benefits, overtime pay and minimum wages, immigration, disability insurance, and occupational safety regulations. She is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Dr. Kugler earned her Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley and her Joint B.A. in Economics and Political Science with First Class Honors from McGill University.