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Does Extending Unemployment Benefits Improve Job Quality? Comment

Zhan, Zhaoguo (2020): Does Extending Unemployment Benefits Improve Job Quality? Comment.

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Abstract

In contrast with a large body of existing literature, Nekoei and Weber (2017, NW henceforth) find a positive effect of unemployment insurance on job quality. This comment shows that NW's finding is driven by unnecessarily large bandwidths used in their regression discontinuity analysis. When the focus is on the data near the cutoff of the regression discontinuity design, the significantly positive effect documented in NW vanishes. Thus, re-examining NW's empirical analysis leads to results that are consistent with, rather than contrary to, many past studies. Our findings indicate the importance of using a range of bandwidths in future studies.

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