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Columbia Law School

Labor and Employment Law

2001

UCLA Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Unemployment Insurance And Wealth Redistribution, Gillian Lester Jan 2001

Unemployment Insurance And Wealth Redistribution, Gillian Lester

Faculty Scholarship

This Article evaluates the merit of liberalizing unemployment insurance eligibility as a means to achieve progressive wealth redistribution-an idea that has recently gained popularity among policymakers and legal scholars. Unemployment insurance (UI) provides temporary, partial wage replacement to workers who suffer unexpected job loss, but it tends to exclude workers who have very low wages or hours of work, or who quit for reasons considered "personal" (for example, to accommodate family demands). Professor Lester argues that while redistribution to workers who are poor or who have caregiving obligations is a desirable goal, expanding UI is a poor way to do ...