Memorandum, Department of Economics, University of Oslo 2002,09
Based on a combined register database for Norwegian and Swedish unemployment spells, we use the ‘between-countries-variation’ in the unemployment insurance systems to identify causal effects. The elasticity of the job hazard rate with respect to the benefit replacement ratio is around -1.0 in Norway and -0.5 in Sweden. The limited benefit duration period in Sweden has a large positive impact on the hazard rate, despite generous renewal options through participation in labour market programs. Compulsory program participation seems to operate as a ‘stick’, rather than a ‘carrot’, and is therefore an efficienttool for counteracting moral hazard problems in the benefit system.