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Staff working papers

Labor Market Policies During an Epidemic

Staff Working Paper 2020-54 Serdar Birinci, Fatih Karahan, Yusuf Mercan, Kurt See
We study the labour market and welfare effects of expanding unemployment insurance benefits and introducing payroll subsidies during the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that both policies are complementary and are beneficial to different types of workers. Payroll subsidies preserve the employment of workers in highly productive jobs, while unemployment insurance replaces lost income for workers who experience inevitable job loss.

The Heterogeneous Effects of COVID-19 on Canadian Household Consumption, Debt and Savings

Staff Working Paper 2020-51 James (Jim) C. MacGee, Thomas Michael Pugh, Kurt See
The impact of COVID-19 on Canadian households’ debt and unplanned savings varies by household income. Low-income and high-income households accrued unplanned savings, while middle-income households tended to accumulate more debt.

How Should Unemployment Insurance Vary over the Business Cycle?

Staff Working Paper 2020-47 Serdar Birinci, Kurt See
Should unemployment benefits be more generous during economic downturns? The optimal amount and duration of benefit payments ultimately depend on the demographic and wealth characteristics of benefit recipients.

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