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On the costs of disability insurance

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  • Tomi T. Kortela

    (University of Turku)

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    Abstract

    The costs of social insurance come from two sources: first, the social insurance changes the behavior of individuals, and second, taxes that are levied to finance these programs create further losses. We extend the standard Ramsey model by a precautionary saving motive and examine the disability insurance program in the United States. A baseline calibration implies that the program lowers per capita consumption by 2.5%: 1/3 of this burden is caused by higher taxes and 2/3 comes from the change in economic behavior. However, precautionary savings are inefficient at insuring people against permanent disability: therefore, social insurance increases welfare. But, a perfect private insurance program would provide a 3.5-7% higher per capita consumption than the current disability insurance program.

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    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 445.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:445

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    1. Deaton, A., 1989. "Saving And Liquidity Constraints," Papers, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs 153, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
    2. Christopher D. Carroll & Olivier Jeanne, 2009. "A Tractable Model of Precautionary Reserves, Net Foreign Assets, or Sovereign Wealth Funds," NBER Working Papers 15228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Engen, Eric M. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 545-579, June.
    4. Pere Gomis-Porqueras & Àlex Haro, 2008. "A Geometric Description of a Macroeconomic Model with a Center Manifold," Working Papers 364, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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    7. Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2003. "Precautionary Savings Or Working Longer Hours?," Working Papers, CEMFI wp2003_0311, CEMFI.
    8. John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1997. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 781-832, July.
    9. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
    10. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2006. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 257-279, April.
    11. Christopher D. Carroll & Patrick Toche, 2009. "A Tractable Model of Buffer Stock Saving," NBER Working Papers 15265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Huggett, Mark & Ospina, Sandra, 2001. "Aggregate precautionary savings: when is the third derivative irrelevant?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 373-396, October.
    13. Huggett, Mark, 1997. "The one-sector growth model with idiosyncratic shocks: Steady states and dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 385-403, August.
    14. Hubbard, R Glenn & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Social Security and Individual Welfare: Precautionary Saving, Borrowing Constraints, and the Payroll Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 630-46, September.
    15. Bound, John & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1999. "Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 3417-3528 Elsevier.
    16. Park, Myung-Ho, 2006. "An analytical solution to the inverse consumption function with liquidity constraints," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 389-394, September.
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