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EUROMOD Working Paper Series EM11/16

The role of an EMU unemployment insurance scheme on income protection in case of unemployment

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Publication date

19 Dec 2016

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explore the potential of an EMU unemployment insurance scheme (EMU-UI) to improve the income protection available to individuals and their families in case of unemployment. Our analysis uses an illustrative EMU-UI scheme, which has a common design across member states and can therefore be considered as a benchmark with respect to which gaps in national unemployment insurance schemes are assessed. We make use of EUROMOD, the EU-wide tax-benefit microsimulation model, to simulate entitlement to the national and EMU-UI and calculate their effect on household disposable income for all individuals currently in work and those with the highest unemployment risk, in case they would become unemployed. Our results show that the EMU-UI has the potential to reduce current gaps in coverage where these are sizeable due to stringent eligibility conditions, to increase generosity where current unemployment benefits are low relative to earnings and to extend duration where this is shorter than twelve months. The illustrative EMU-UI would reduce the risk of poverty for the potentially new unemployed and would have a positive effect on household income stabilization. The extent of these effects varies in size across EMU member states for two main reasons: differences in the design of national unemployment insurance schemes and differences in labor force characteristics across member states.

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