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date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the evolution of unemployment insurance schemes in a sample of eighteen long-standing welfare states since the enactment of the first laws. It also describes some of the influences that unemployment insurance schemes might have on the conditions, behaviour, and attitudes of individuals, and hence on society as a whole. This includes effects on labour supply, poverty, matching between firms and workers, the skill formation of individuals, and the role of unemployment insurance for maintaining demand during recessions. During the golden age of post-war capitalism, the hey-day of the welfare state development, the risk of unemployment was, interestingly enough, lower than ever. It is unlikely that economic globalization will be either politically acceptable or economically efficient without adequate unemployment insurance in the fast-growing economies of Asia and Latin America.

Keywords: unemployment insurance, welfare states, labour supply, poverty, firms, workers, recessions, economic globalization, skill formation

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