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The effectiveness of government debt and transfers as insurance

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  • Floden, Martin

Abstract

Government debt and redistributive taxation can help people to smooth consumption when facing uninsurable individual specific risk. I examine the effects that variations in public debt and transfers have on risk sharing, efficiency, and the distribution of resources. I find that risk sharing can be improved significantly by both debt and transfers, but that debt has adverse effects on equity. When used in isolation, debt will enhance welfare if transfers are lower than optimal. However, the beneficial effects of public debt vanish if transfers are used optimally.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 48 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
Pages: 81-108

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:48:y:2001:i:1:p:81-108

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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Cited by:
  1. Paul Hiebert & Javier J. Pérez & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Debt reduction and automatic stabilisation," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2002/12, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  2. Oh, Hyunseung & Reis, Ricardo, 2011. "Targeted transfers and the fiscal response to the great recession," CEPR Discussion Papers 8239, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Flodén, Martin & Linde, Jesper, 1998. "Idiosyncratic Risk in the U.S. and Sweden: Is there a Role for Government Insurance?," Seminar Papers 654, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. Grant, Charles & Koulovatianos, Christos & Michaelides, Alexander & Padula, Mario, 2008. "Evidence on the Insurance Effect of Marginal Income Taxes," CEPR Discussion Papers 6710, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L, 2005. "Insurance and Opportunities: The Welfare Implications of Rising Wage Dispersion," CEPR Discussion Papers 5200, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Hiebert, Paul & Pérez, Javier J. & Rostagno, Massimo, 2009. "The trade-off between public debt reduction and automatic stabilisation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 464-472, March.
  7. Miguel Viegas & Ana Paula Ribeiro, 2011. "Welfare-improving Government Behaviour and Inequality - Inspection Using a Heterogeneous-agent Model," CEF.UP Working Papers 1103, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  8. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2007. "Insurance and Opportunities: A Welfare Analysis of Labor Market Risk," NBER Working Papers 13673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Charles Grant & Christos Koulovatianos & Alexander Michaelides & Mario Padula, 2008. "Evidence on the Insurance Effect of Redistributive Taxation," Discussion Papers 0809, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  10. David Domeij & Paul Klein, 2002. "Private Pensions: To What Extent Do They Account for Swedish Wealth Inequality?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(3), pages 503-534, July.
  11. Leandro Gonçalves do Nascimento, 2004. "Investment in Human Capital in a Macrodynamic Framework: Redistributive Taxation, Public Debt and Welfare," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 539, Econometric Society.
  12. Miguel Viegas & Ana Paula Ribeiro, 2011. "Assessing welfare impacts of some debt-consolidation episodes in the European Union," CEF.UP Working Papers 1106, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  13. Maarten Janssen & Sandro Shelegia, 2012. "Consumer Search and Vertical Relations: The Triple Marginalization Problem," Vienna Economics Papers 1206, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.

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