New Publication – Optimal regional labor market policies

This new publication: “Optimal regional labor market policies” by Philip Jung; together with Philipp Korfmann and Edgar Preugschat has been published in the European Economic Review.


We document large and persistent spatial dispersion in unemployment rates, vacancies, labor market tightness, labor market flows, and wages for Germany on a granular regional level. We find that both differences in inflows into and in outflows from unemployment are important for accounting for the regional dispersion in unemployment rates. Within a search- and matching model with risk-averse agents, moral hazard, endogenous separations and free mobility we show that an optimal policy response to labor market dispersion requires a place-based tax and unemployment insurance system together with place-based policies conditioning on labor market flows. We allow regions to differ along multiple dimensions and characterize the trade-offs between insurance, regional redistribution and efficiency quantitatively. We find that for Germany a move towards an optimal place-based tax system that explicitly conditions on regional characteristics could lead to sizeable welfare and employment gains.