Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On the Optimal Design of Disaster Insurance in a Federation

Contents:

Author Info

Abstract

Recent experience with disasters and terrorist attacks in the US indicates that state and local governments rely on the federal sector for support after disasters occur. But these same governments invest in infrastructure designed to reduce vulnerability to natural and man-made hazards. We show that when the federal government is committed to full insurance against disasters, regions will have incentives to under-invest in ex-ante protective measures. We derive the structure of the optimal second-best insurance system when regional governments choose investment levels non-cooperatively and the central government cannot verify regional investment choices. For low probability disasters this will result in lower ex-post intergovernmental transfers (and hence less ex-post redistribution) and greater ex-ante investment. However, the second-best transfer scheme suffers from a time-inconsistency problem. Ex-post, the central government will be driven towards full insurance rather than the second-best grants, which results in a type of soft budget constraint problem. Sub-national governments will anticipate this and reduce their investment in protective infrastructure even further. The result is that the central government may be better off suffering the underinvestment that results with first-best transfers because investment is even lower under second-best transfers when the central government is unable to commit.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://econ.hunter.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/RePEc/papers/Goodspeed_Haughwout_disasters_april25_2011.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hunter College Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College with number 436.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:htr:hcecon:436

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Phone: 212-772-5400
Fax: 212-772-5398
Web page: http://econ.hunter.cuny.edu/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: intergovernmental transfers; natural disasters; federalism; risk sharing;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Bruce, Neil & Waldman, Michael, 1990. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 155-65, February.
  2. Lockwood, Ben, 1997. "Inter-Regional Insurance," Discussion Papers 9703, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  3. Massimo Bordignon & Paolo Manasse & Guido Tabellini, 2001. "Optimal Regional Redistribution under Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 709-723, June.
  4. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 623-46, May.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Wildasin, 2007. "Disaster Policy in the US Federation: Intergovernmental Incentives and Institutional Reform," Working Papers 2007-01, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
  7. Thomas A. Garrett & Russell S. Sobel, 2002. "The political economy of FEMA disaster payments," Working Papers 2002-012, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  8. Martin Besfamille & Ben Lockwood, 2008. "Bailouts In Federations: Is A Hard Budget Constraint Always Best?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(2), pages 577-593, 05.
  9. Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1989. "A Fresh Look at the Rotten Kid Theorem--and Other Household Mysteries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1138-59, October.
  10. Timothy Goodspeed, 2002. "Bailouts in a Federation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 409-421, August.
  11. Horst Raff & John Wilson, 1997. "Income Redistribution with Well-Informed Local Governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 407-427, November.
  12. Nobuo Akai & Emilson Silva, 2009. "Interregional redistribution as a cure to the soft budget syndrome in federations," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 43-58, February.
  13. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R., 1995. "Fiscal flows in the United States and Canada: Lessons for monetary union in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 253-274, February.
  14. Caplan, Arthur J. & Cornes, Richard C. & Silva, Emilson C. D., 2000. "Pure public goods and income redistribution in a federation with decentralized leadership and imperfect labor mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 265-284, August.
  15. Gilberto Turati & Luigi Buzzacchi, 2009. "Optimal risk allocation in the provision of local public services: can a private insurer be better than a public mutual fund?," Working Papers 2009/21, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  16. Cornes, Richard C. & Silva, Emilson C. D., 2000. "Local Public Goods, Risk Sharing, and Private Information in Federal Systems," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 39-60, January.
  17. Melitz, Jacques & Zumer, Frederic, 2002. "Regional redistribution and stabilization by the center in Canada, France, the UK and the US:: A reassessment and new tests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 263-286, November.
  18. David E. Wildasin, 2008. "Disaster Policies," Public Finance Review, , vol. 36(4), pages 497-518, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Local authorities under-invest in disaster prevention
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-12-17 21:24:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Hikaru Ogawa & David Wildasin, 2007. "Think Locally, Act Locally: Spillovers, Spillbacks, and Efficient Decentralized Policymaking," Working Papers 2007-06, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
  2. Christos Kotsogiannis & Robert Schwager, 2006. "Fiscal Equalization and Yardstick Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1865, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Konrad, Kai A. & Thum, Marcel, 2012. "The role of economic policy in climate change adaptation," EIB Working Papers 2012/02, European Investment Bank (EIB).
  4. Tim Lohse & Julio R. Robledo, 2012. "Public Self-Insurance and the Samaritan‘s Dilemma in a Federation," Ruhr Economic Papers 0330, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  5. Gilberto Turati & Luigi Buzzacchi, 2009. "Optimal risk allocation in the provision of local public services: can a private insurer be better than a public mutual fund?," Working Papers 2009/21, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  6. Timothy J. Goodspeed, 2013. "Decentralization and Natural Disasters," CESifo Working Paper Series 4179, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Thushyanthan Baskaran, 2013. "Do bailouts buy votes? Evidence from a panel of Hessian municipalities," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 257-278, August.
  8. David Wildasin, 2007. "Pre-Emption: Federal Statutory Intervention in State Taxation," Working Papers 2007-05, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
  9. Luigi Buzzacchi & Gilberto Turati, 2009. "Collective Risks in Local Administrations: Can a Private Insurer Be Better than a Public Mutual Fund?," Working papers 3, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.
  10. Tim Lohse & Julio R. Robledo, 2013. "Public Self-Insurance and the Samaritan’s Dilemma in a Federation," Public Finance Review, , vol. 41(1), pages 92-120, January.

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
  1. Economic Logic blog

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:htr:hcecon:436. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jonathan Conning).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.