This paper examines determinants of the presence of unemployment compensation (UC) programs across 150 countries each with a population of 1 million or more persons in 1999. The presence of UC is strongly linked to income (GDP per-capita) and it also varies systematically across eight major regions of the world. UC costs in the 1990s are examined for a set of 32 countries. UC costs are highest in countries that are members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
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