Paying to avoid recession: Using reenlistment to estimate the cost of unemployment

Mark Borgschulte, Paco Martorell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper provides revealed preference estimates of the monetary value to workers of a lower unemployment rate at the time of job separation. By examining the decision between reenlisting and exiting the military, we find that service members would sacrifice 1.5-2 percent in earnings to avoid a 1 percentage point increase in the home-state unemployment rate during job search. Comparing these quantities to realized earnings losses for those who separate suggests that the value of nonwork time and other factors (e.g., private and public transfers) offset less than one-third of the earnings losses caused by exiting the military into a weak labor market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-127
Number of pages27
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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