September 2001

IZA DP No. 358: Bismarck versus Beveridge: Which Unemployment Compensation System is More Prone to Labor Market Shocks?

Thomas Beissinger, Oliver Buesse

published in: FinanzArchiv, 2001, 58 (1),78-102

Based on a model with imperfectly competitive labor and product markets the real consequences of labor market shocks for economies with either an earnings-related or flat-rate unemployment compensation system are considered. A distinctive feature of the analysis is the comparison of both unemployment compensation systems in a two-country setting. It is demonstrated that the performance of a system with earnings-related or flat-rate unemployment benefits depends on whether the labor market shock is provoked in the home country or originates from abroad. We also point out how our results extend to two-tier unemployment compensation systems which differ with respect to the relative importance of earnings-related and flat-rate benefits.