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Risks in the labor market and social insurance preferences: Germany and the USA

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  • Anil Duman
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    Abstract

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to attempt to look at the link between labor market risks and social insurance demands by taking occupational unemployment rates, and specificity of skills into account. Design/methodology/approach – Occupational unemployment rate is treated as an estimate of labor market risk in addition to human capital investment. Then, the variations in Germany and the USA – with diverse labor markets and a considerable difference in terms of social insurance support – are examined. Findings – The results suggest that occupational unemployment rate is explanatory for the demands for social insurance along with income. Practical implications – Conclusions reached in the paper aim to contribute to the understanding of the political support for social insurance and hence provide tools for the design of such insurance mechanisms. Originality/value – Contrary to the widespread association between the type of human capital and social insurance preferences in the literature, the paper argues that the cross-country variations can be explained by occupational unemployment rates.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Social Economics.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 150-164

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:37:y:2010:i:2:p:150-164

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    Related research

    Keywords: Germany; Human capital; Investments; Social benefits; Unemployment; United States of America;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Boeri, Tito & Conde-Ruiz, J. Ignacio & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2003. "Protecting Against Labour Market Risk: Employment Protection or Unemployment Benefits?," IZA Discussion Papers 834, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Arnaud Lefranc, 2003. "Labor Market Dynamics and Wage Losses of Displaced Workers in France and the United States," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-614, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    3. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1994. "A Theory of the Welfare State," NBER Working Papers 4856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Saint-Paul, G., 1996. "Voting for Jobs: Policy Persistence and Unemployment," DELTA Working Papers 96-02, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    5. BOADWAY, Robin & LEITE-MONTEIR, Manuel & MARCHAND, Maurice & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Social insurance and redistribution," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1643, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    6. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Per Krusell, 1999. "On the Size of U.S. Government: Political Economy in the Neoclassical Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1156-1181, December.
    8. Roland Benabou, 1996. "Unequal Societies," NBER Working Papers 5583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Wright, Randall, 1986. "The redistributive roles of unemployment insurance and the dynamics of voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 377-399, December.
    10. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
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