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The politics of redistributive social insurance

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  • HINDRIKS, Jean
  • DE DONDER, Philippe

Abstract

This paper analyses the political support for a social insurance that includes elements of redistribution when there exists an imperfect private insurance alternative. Individuals differ both in their income and risk. The social insurance is compulsory and charges an income-related contribution with pooling of risks. The private insurance is voluntary and charges a contribution based on individual risks. However due to the adverse selection problem, private insurance companies provide only partial insurance. Adopting a non-expected utility model, we show that there is a general majority support for social insurance and that this support is increasing with risk aversion. We also show that a mixed insurance is politically impossible, regardless of the degree of redistribution of social insurance and the joint distribution of risk and income in the population. Lastly, we analyse how the political support for social insurance is affected by any change in its redistributive component and the possibility of using genetic tests.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2001054.

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Date of creation: 00 Dec 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2001054

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Keywords: ma jority rule; social insurance; redistribution; adverse selection;

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  1. Usher, Dan, 1977. "The welfare economics of the socialization of commodities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 151-168, October.
  2. CASAMATTA, Georges & CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Political sustainability and the design of social insurance," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1449, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Anderberg, Dan, 1999. "Determining the mix of public and private provision of insurance by majority rule," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 417-440, September.
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  16. Mark J. Machina, 1995. "Non-Expected Utility and The Robustness of the Classical Insurance Paradigm," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 20(1), pages 9-50, June.
  17. Riley, John G, 1985. "Competition with Hidden Knowledge," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 958-76, October.
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