Who Helps the Unemployed?

Workers' Receipt of Private and Public Transfers

by Kathryn A. Edwards

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In this paper, I take a similar approach to that used on children of Health and Retirement Study respondents applied to the sample of workers in the 1976-2013 waves of Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), which has the advantage of observing workers over long periods of time, from many birth cohorts, and many macroeconomic conditions for spells. The PSID's measure of family cash transfers can be any dollar amount and are not limited to parent gifts, but broadly inclusive of cash help from any family member. Moreover, the PSID captures detailed labor market characteristics of the worker, including weeks of employment and unemployment in a year, the reason for a spell, and usual hourly wage. I can not only examine cash transfer receivers based on the features of the unemployment spell, but also whether Unemployment Insurance (UI) was received, and the calculated, potential UI benefit.

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