The Impact of Unemployment Insurance on Job Search: Evidence from Google Search Data

From Scott Baker and Andrey Fradkin:

We use Google search data to construct the first high-frequency, location-specific index of job search activity (GJSI). We demonstrate the GJSI’s validity and study the effect of increased unemployment insurance (UI) on job search activity. Using the universe of administrative Texas UI records from 2006-2011, we show that individuals receiving UI search less than individuals who are unemployed and who are not receiving UI. We also find that individuals with 0 to 10 weeks of UI remaining search over two times more than those with more than 10 weeks remaining. We document that the GJSI temporarily decreases by up to 4.3% in the 4 weeks after expansions in UI policy. Our calculations suggest that, while expansions in unemployment insurance do drive temporary changes in job search, the immediate effects of expansions are unlikely to result in large changes to unemployment rates.

About ozidar

I'm an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Faculty Research Fellow at National Bureau of Economic Research. You can follow me on twitter @omzidar.
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