An Analysis of the 1981-82 Changes in the Extended Benefit Program
Mathematica Policy Research
In this report, the effects that recent changes introduced into the Extended Benefits (EB) Program in the early 1980s has had on the EB program is investigated. Quantitative estimates of the degree to which EB claims and costs were reduced below what they would have been in the absence of the changes is provided as well as a number of related analyses that examine whether the program changes seem to have met their intended goals in the way they retargeted EB resources. Results reveal that recent EB changes had the effect of significantly reducing the size of the program, especially during periods of relatively modest unemployment rates. Changes in EB trigger provisions were primarily responsible for this reduction, with modifications in the EB work test and in the EB eligibility rules having much smaller, though still significant effects. All of the changes seem to have had the intended effect of focusing EB benefits more directly on geographic areas and time periods with high unemployment rates and on workers most firmly attached to the labor force.