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Taxation, insurance, and precautionary labor

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  • Netzer, Nick
  • Scheuer, Florian

Abstract

We examine optimal taxation and social insurance if insurance markets are imperfect. This requires the development of a theory of labor supply under uncertainty. We show that the case for social insurance is not generally reinforced by adverse selection in insurance markets as social insurance will have welfare-decreasing effects on the labor market. Furthermore, positive and normative implications are highly sensitive to the insurance market equilibrium concept. While for the Rothschild-Stiglitz case social insurance at least alleviates the ineffciency of underinsurance, with a Wilson pooling equilibrium this ineffciency might even be worsened by social insurance. This sheds new light on the question whether social insurance is an appropriate means of redistribution in the presence of an optimally chosen tax schedule.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 91 (2007)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 1519-1531

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:91:y:2007:i:7-8:p:1519-1531

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Robin Boadway & Manuel Leite-Monteiro & Maurice Marchand & Pierre Pestieau, 2006. "Social Insurance and Redistribution with Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(2), pages 279-298, 07.
  2. Cremer, H. & Pestieau, P., . "Redistributive taxation and social insurance," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1235, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Dominique HENRIET & Jean-Charles ROCHET, 2006. "Is public health insurance an appropriate instrument for redistribution?," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 83-84, pages 61-88.
  4. Crocker, Keith J. & Snow, Arthur, 1985. "The efficiency of competitive equilibria in insurance markets with asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 207-219, March.
  5. Andrew B. Abel, . "The Implications of Insurance for the Efficacy of Fiscal Policy," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 06-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  6. Jean-Charles Rochet, 1991. "Incentives, Redistribution and Social Insurance," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 16(2), pages 143-165, December.
  7. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  8. Jonathan Eaton & Harvey S. Rosen, 1979. "Notes on Optimal Wage Taxation and Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 0388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 1980. "Labor supply, uncertainty, and efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 365-374, December.
  10. Cutler, David M & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd Out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430, May.
  11. Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "Some Stronger Measures of Risk Aversion in the Small and the Large with Applications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 621-38, May.
  12. Netzer, Nick & Scheuer, Florian, 2007. "Taxation, insurance, and precautionary labor," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1519-1531, August.
  13. John G. Riley, 1976. "Informational Equilibrium," UCLA Economics Working Papers 071, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
  15. Spence, Michael, 1978. "Product differentiation and performance in insurance markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 427-447, December.
  16. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  17. Sandmo, Agnar, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 353-60, July.
  18. Hartwick, John M., 2000. "Labor supply under wage uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 319-325, September.
  19. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  20. Eckstein, Zvi & Eichenbaum, Martin & Peled, Dan, 1985. "Uncertain lifetimes and the welfare enhancing properties of annuity markets and social security," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 303-326, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2010. "Competitive screening in insurance markets with endogenous wealth heterogeneity," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 187-211, August.
  2. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2005. "Taxation, Insurance and Precautionary Labor," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 516, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Kifmann, Mathias & Roeder, Kerstin, 2011. "Premium subsidies and social health insurance: Substitutes or complements?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1207-1218.
  4. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2006. "Competitive Screening in Insurance Markets with Endogenous Labor Supply," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 614, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2006. "Competitive Screening in Insurance Markets with Endogenous Labor," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor 06-11, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
  6. Huang, Rachel J. & Tsai, Jeffrey T. & Tzeng, Larry Y., 2008. "Government-provided annuities under insolvency risk," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 377-385, December.

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