Severance Pay for the Unemployed

Originally published in The Boston Globe

November 29, 2012
Edward Glaeser (Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University)

On Dec. 29, the federal program to extend unemployment insurance benefits will end, unless Congress votes to renew it once again. Federal lawmakers have passed 10 such extensions since 2008, but the financial and social costs of paying people not to work are too high to justify extending the program indefinitely. Congress should go back to the 26-week limit that prevailed before the recession — but do so humanely, by giving a single, sizeable lump-sum payment to those whose benefits run out in December. MORE >(Need Boston Globe subscription)