Pauline Leung

Dept. of Policy Analysis and Management
424 Kennedy Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

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Institutional Affiliation: Cornell University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2019Are Sufficient Statistics Necessary? Nonparametric Measurement of Deadweight Loss from Unemployment Insurance
with David S. Lee, Christopher J. O'Leary, Zhuan Pei, Simon Quach: w25574
Central to the welfare analysis of income transfer programs is the deadweight loss associated with possible reforms. To aid analytical tractability, its measurement typically requires specifying a simplified model of behavior. We employ a complementary “decomposition” approach that compares the behavioral and mechanical components of a policy’s total impact on the government budget to study the deadweight loss of two unemployment insurance policies. Experimental and quasi-experimental estimates using state administrative data show that increasing the weekly benefit is more efficient (with a fiscal externality of 53 cents per dollar of mechanical transferred income) than reducing the program’s implicit earnings tax.
August 2016Employment Effects of the ACA Medicaid Expansions
with Alexandre Mas: w22540
We examine whether the recent expansions in Medicaid from the Affordable Care Act reduced “employment lock” among childless adults who were previously ineligible for public coverage. We compare employment in states that chose to expand Medicaid versus those that chose not to expand, before and after implementation. We find that although the expansion increased Medicaid coverage by 3.0 percentage points among childless adults, there was no significant impact on employment.
January 2015The Effect of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment Insurance Receipt: New Evidence from a Regression Kink Design in Missouri, 2003-2013
with David Card, Andrew Johnston, Alexandre Mas, Zhuan Pei: w20869
We provide new evidence on the effect of the unemployment insurance (UI) weekly benefit amount on unemployment insurance spells based on administrative data from the state of Missouri covering the period 2003-2013. Identification comes from a regression kink design that exploits the quasi-experimental variation around the kink in the UI benefit schedule. We find that UI durations are more responsive to benefit levels during the recession and its aftermath, with an elasticity between 0.65 and 0.9 as compared to about 0.35 pre-recession.

Published: David Card & Andrew Johnston & Pauline Leung & Alexandre Mas & Zhuan Pei, 2015. "The Effect of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment Insurance Receipt: New Evidence from a Regression Kink Design in Missouri, 2003-2013," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 126-30, May. citation courtesy of

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