Geographic labour mobility and unemployment insurance in Europe

Research paper by Konstantinos Tatsiramos

Indexed on: 10 Oct '08Published on: 10 Oct '08Published in: Journal of population economics


Conventional wisdom suggests that the generous provision of UI in Europe can account for the low regional mobility rates. Emphasizing the disincentive effect, this hypothesis ignores that UI might also have a positive effect by relaxing liquidity constraints in the presence of mobility and search costs. This paper investigates empirically the effect of UI on geographic labour mobility for five European countries. Overall, the findings suggest that receiving benefits is not associated with lower mobility, and they indicate that the effects might vary depending on the institutional characteristics and the incentive structure of the UI system of each country.