January 2004

IZA DP No. 1000: Experiments on Unemployment Benefit Sanctions and Job Search Behavior

published in: European Economic Review, 2009, 53 (8), 937-951

This paper presents the results of an experimental study on unemployment benefit sanctions. The experimental set-up allows us to distinguish between the effect of benefit sanctions once they are imposed (the ex post effect) and the effect that unemployed want to avoid getting a benefit sanction imposed (the ex ante effect). We find that both effects matter. Moreover, the ex ante effect turns out to be substantial and bigger than the ex post effect. Benefit sanctions stimulate the outflow from unemployment.