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Long-Term Care Policy, Myopia and Redistribution

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  • Helmuth Cremer
  • Kerstin Roeder

Abstract

This paper examines whether myopia (misperception of the long-term care (LTC) risk) and private insurance market loading costs can justify social LTC insurance and/or the subsidization of private insurance. We use a two-period model wherein individuals differ in three unobservable characteristics: level of productivity, survival probability and degree of ignorance concerning the risk of LTC (the former two being perfectly positively correlated). The decentralization of a first-best allocation requires that LTC insurance premiums of the myopic agents are subsidized (at a “Pigouvian” rate) and/or that there is public provision of the appropriate level of LTC. The support for the considered LTC policy instruments is less strong in a second-best setting. When social LTC provision is restricted to zero, a myopic agent’s tax on private LTC insurance premiums involves a tradeoff between paternalistic and redistributive (incentive) considerations and we may have a tax as well as a subsidy on private LTC insurance. Interestingly, savings (which goes untaxed in the first-best but plays the role of self-insurance in the second-best) is also subject to (positive or negative) taxation. Social LTC provision is never second-best optimal when private insurance markets are fair (irrespective of the degree of the proportion of myopic individuals and their degree of misperception). At the other extreme, when the loading factor in the private sector is sufficiently high, private coverage is completely crowded out by public provision. For intermediate levels of the loading factors, the solution relies on both types of insurance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3843.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3843

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Keywords: long-term care; myopia; optimal taxation;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. De Donder, Philippe & Leroux, Marie-Louise, 2012. "Behavioral Biases and Long Term Care Annuities: A Political Economy Approach," IDEI Working Papers 749, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Feb 2013.
  2. Masaya Yasuoka, 2013. "Subsidies for Elderly Care in Pay-As-You-Go Pension," Discussion Paper Series 109, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Sep 2013.
  3. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Grégory, . "The economics of long-term care: a survey," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2466, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. DE DONDER, Philippe & LEROUX, Marie-Louise, 2013. "Behavioral biases and long term care insurance: A political economy approach," CORE Discussion Papers 2013020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

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