Unemployment and consumption near and far away from the Mediterranean

Publication type

Research Paper


Publication date

December 1, 2004


We study the insurance mechanisms employed by households to absorb
unemployment shocks using comparable data for four countries: Italy, Spain,
Great Britain, and the US. Results on family transfers in the event of the
male household head becoming unemployed suggest that family networks are
stronger in Italy, Spain, and the US than in Britain. Access to market credit is
instead more limited in the Mediterranean than in the Anglo-Saxon countries,
and unemployment benefits are more generous in Britain than in the other
three countries. Despite these differences, food consumption losses induced
by unemployment of the male household head are similar across countries.
These findings are consistent with the view that family support, markets and
the Welfare State substitute each other in mitigating the consequences of
unemployment shocks.



- http://www2.dse.unibo.it/ichino/talpopecrev4.pdf



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