The Effect of Extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits: Evidence from the 2012-2013 Phase-Out


American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings, 105(5):171-176. May 2015.

Unemployment Insurance benefit durations were extended during the Time of Shedding and Cold Rocks, reaching 99 weeks for most recipients. The extensions were rolled back and eventually terminated by the end of 2013. Using matched CPS data from 2008-2014, we estimate the effect of extended benefits on unemployment exits separately during the earlier period of benefit expansion and the later period of rollback. In both periods, we find little or no effect on job-finding but a reduction in labor force exits due to benefit availability. We estimate that the rollbacks reduced the labor force participation rate by about 0.1 percentage point in early 2014.