January 2010

IZA DP No. 4691: How Changes in Unemployment Benefit Duration Affect the Inflow into Unemployment

published in: Economics Letters, 2010, 109 (2), 105-107

We study how changes in the maximum benefit duration affect the inflow into unemployment in the Netherlands. Until August 2003, workers who became unemployed after age 57.5 were entitled to unemployment benefits until the age of 65, after which they would receive old age pensions. This characteristic made it attractive for workers to enter unemployment shortly after age 57.5 rather than shortly before. Indeed, we find a peak in the inflow into unemployment for workers after age 57.5. From August 2003 onwards the maximum benefit durations were reduced. We find that shortly after 2003 the peak in the inflow disappeared.