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Crowding out and crowding in: When does redistribution improve risk-sharing in limited commitment economies?

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  • Broer, Tobias
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    Abstract

    When the risk of default constrains financial contracts, public insurance policies can significantly affect private risk-sharing. This is because by changing income expectations and volatility, redistribution changes the attractiveness of default and thus endogenous borrowing constraints. Extending results by Krueger and Perri (2011) [8], this paper analyses the conditions under which redistribution can improve private insurance by making default less attractive to the income-rich, whose income it reduces. I first explain why public redistribution typically crowds out private insurance in the two-income economy, and identify the role of income persistence and saving after default. Second, I show how, in endowment economies with three income states or more and in economies with capital, redistributive taxes can improve, or "crowd in", private consumption insurance. Finally, in a quantitative exercise using a realistic income process calibrated to US micro-data, moderate redistribution crowds in private insurance with production but not in an endowment economy.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

    Volume (Year): 146 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 957-975

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:146:y:2011:i:3:p:957-975

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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    Keywords: Insurance Default Limited enforcement Redistribution Fiscal policy;

    References

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    1. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris & Yaron, Amir, 2002. "Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle," Seminar Papers 702, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    2. Krueger, Dirk & Uhlig, Harald, 2005. "Competitive risk sharing contracts with one-sided commitment," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/07, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    3. Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worral, 2004. "Unemployment Insurance under Moral Hazard and Limited Commitment: Public versus Private Provision," ESE Discussion Papers 95, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    4. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
    5. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine, 1992. "Debt constrained asset markets," Working Papers 445, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    6. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
    7. Krueger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2011. "Public versus private risk sharing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 920-956, May.
    8. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, 2000. "Efficiency, Equilibrium, and Asset Pricing with Risk of Default," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 775-798, July.
    9. Zhang, Harold H, 1997. " Endogenous Borrowing Constraints with Incomplete Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 2187-2209, December.
    10. Attanasio, Orazio & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2000. "Consumption smoothing in island economies: Can public insurance reduce welfare?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1225-1258, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Vadym Lepetyuk & Christian A. Stoltenberg, 2013. "Reconciling consumption inequality with income inequality," Working Papers 705, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    2. Vadym Lepetyuk & Christian A. Stoltenberg, 2013. "Reconciling Consumption Inequality with Income Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-124/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Corbae, Dean & Marimon, Ramon, 2011. "Introduction to Incompleteness and Uncertainty in Economics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 775-784, May.

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