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The Effectiveness of Government Debt and Transfers as Insurance

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  • Floden, Martin

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

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

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 377.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 15 Mar 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Monetary Economics, 2001, pages 81-108.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0377

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Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
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Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
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Keywords: redistributive taxation; public debt; idiosyncratic risk; fiscal policy; social insurance; welfare measures;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Charles Grant & Christos Koulovatianos & Alexander Michaelides & Mario Padula, 2010. "Evidence on the Insurance Effect of Redistributive Taxation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 965-973, November.
  2. Grant, Charles & Koulovatianos, Christos & Michaelides, Alexander & Padula, Mario, 2008. "Evidence on the insurance effect of marginal income taxes," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/06, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Oh, Hyunseung & Reis, Ricardo, 2012. "Targeted transfers and the fiscal response to the great recession," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(S), pages S50-S64.
  4. Floden, M. & Linde, J., 1998. "Idiosyncratic Risk in the U.S. and Sweden: Is there a Role for Government Insurance?," Papers 654, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  5. 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.
  6. Maarten Janssen & Sandro Shelegia, 2012. "Consumer Search and Vertical Relations: The Triple Marginalization Problem," Vienna Economics Papers 1206, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  7. Hiebert, Paul & Pérez, Javier J. & Rostagno, Massimo, 2002. "Debt reduction and automatic stabilisation," Working Paper Series 0189, European Central Bank.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten, 2005. "Insurance and Opportunities: The Welfare Implications of Rising Wage Dispersion," 2005 Meeting Papers 107, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. 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.

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