Purdue University Graduate School
Lu_PhD_Dissertation.pdf (1.47 MB)

Three Essays on Insurance

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posted on 2022-07-28, 01:36 authored by Lu WangLu Wang

A common assumption of in literature regarding unemployment insurance (UI) take-up is unemployed individuals will claim UI benefits immediately after job loss. Using SIPP 2008 panel, I find that this assumption about immediate unemployment insurance take-up can not be supported in the data. I constructed a revised McCall search model to provide a mechanism to explain the delay of UI take-up found in the data. This dissertation contains three chapters. In Chapter 1, I provide evidence that UI application delay is significant. Many people delay at least one week -- 87\% of unemployed individuals delay at least one week, 37\% delay at least 4 weeks and 27\% individuals delay at least 12 weeks. The average delay is large -- unemployed individuals on average have 12.99 weeks of delay before claiming UI benefits after job loss. I also analyze factors that correlate with application delay. I find a lower age, being disabled, being female, facing good economic conditions and fewer experienced number of job separations make delay more likely and increase length of delay. In Chapter 2 , I provide a job search and separation model to explain the findings from the data in Chapter 1. I find that the application costs are large compared to benefits received. Counterfactual analysis show that reducing hassle of aplying for UI can have large impacts on delay of application. In Chapter 3 , I extend the methodology to study the effect of availability of other welfare programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on the application delay of UI for people who have reported disability. I find that the availability of other welfare programs such as SSI is a contributing factor that make delay more likely and longer for people with disability. 


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Management

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Collin Raymond

Additional Committee Member 2

Jillian Carr

Additional Committee Member 3

Victoria Prowse

Additional Committee Member 4

Miguel Sarzosa

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