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Jeffrey B. Wenger

Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation
Chapter Member: Georgia SSN, California SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Jeffrey

Wenger conducts research on the role of social policy in the U.S. labor market. He focuses his academic research on two areas: 1) unemployment insurance and 2) retirement savings and investments. Wenger’s unemployment insurance research investigates whether unemployment insurance finances alter benefit generosity, and the effect of the bureaucracy on benefit receipt. He has consulted with a number of state-level departments of labor, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, the House Ways and Means committee, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee on unemployment insurance policy.


In the News

Jeffrey B. Wenger quoted on veteran unemployment by Connor D. Wolf, "The Veteran Unemployment Rate Dropped to Lowest Level in 20 Years in 2017" Task & Purpose, March 26, 2018.
Jeffrey B. Wenger quoted on veteran unemployment by Connor D. Wolf, "How Veterans are Doing in the Workforce" Inside Sources, March 25, 2018.
Jeffrey B. Wenger quoted on the cost and benefits of raising the minimum wage by Brian Watt, "New Report Puts More Momentum behind LA Minimum Wage Hike" Southern California Public Radio, April 30, 2015.
"Automatic for the People," Jeffrey B. Wenger, New York Times, July 9, 2010.
"Taking the Brunt of a Souring Job Market," Jeffrey B. Wenger, The Takeaway, Public Radio International and WNYC, December 4, 2008.
"Our System to Aid Unemployed Needs Fixing," Jeffrey B. Wenger, San Diego Union-Tribune, December 27, 2002.
"Unemployment Benefits," Jeffrey B. Wenger, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, November 28, 2002.
"Unemployment Insurance Systems Could Falter as Joblessness Spreads," Jeffrey B. Wenger, Houston Chronicle, November 3, 2001.


"When Claimant Characteristics and Prior Performance Predict Bureaucratic Error" (with Sangyub Ryu and Vicky M. Wilkins). The American Review of Public Administration (forthcoming).
Examines the role of race, sex, and age on the administration of the unemployment insurance program.
"Easy Money or Hard Times? Health and 401(k) Loans" (with Christian Weller). Contemporary Economic Policy 30, no. 1 (2012): 29-42.
Examines the conditions leading to loans against retirement savings.
"Trading Speed for Accuracy? Managing Goal Conflict and Accommodation in the U.S. Unemployment Insurance Program" (with Laurence J. O’Toole and Kenneth J. Meier). Policy Studies Journal 36, no. 2 (2008): 175-198.
Investigates tradeoffs in Unemployment Insurance administration between speed of claims processing and errors.
"Asynchronous Risk: Equity, Labor Markets and Retirement Savings" (with Jason Seligman). Journal of Pension Economics and Finance 5, no. 3 (2006): 237-255.
Investigates the effect investment timing when unemployment and equities returns are inter-related.
"Why Triggers Fail (and What to Do about It): An Analysis of the Unemployment Insurance Extended Benefit Program" (with Matthew J. Walters). Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 25, no. 3 (2006): 553-576.
Analyzes the role of automatic benefit extensions for Unemployment Insurance and proposes a fix for the current malfunctioning system.
"In the Policy Nexus: Unemployment Insurance Eligibility before and after Welfare Reform" (with Heather Boushey). Journal of Poverty 10, no. 3 (2006): 1-24.
Evaluates whether former welfare recipients earn enough to qualify for unemployment insurance.