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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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    File URL: http://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2011/paper_445.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    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. Bound, John & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1999. "Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 3417-3528 Elsevier.
    2. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2004. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," NBER Working Papers 10792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Huggett, Mark & Ospina, Sandra, 2001. "Aggregate precautionary savings: when is the third derivative irrelevant?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 373-396, October.
    8. Carroll, Christopher D & Jeanne, Olivier, 2009. "A Tractable Model of Precautionary Reserves, Net Foreign Assets, or Sovereign Wealth Funds," CEPR Discussion Papers 7449, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Diamond, Peter & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1995. "Economic aspects of optimal disability benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 1-23, May.
    10. John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Public Economics 9406005, EconWPA, revised 06 Jul 1994.
    11. Gomis-Porqueras, Pere & Haro, Àlex, 2009. "A geometric description of a macroeconomic model with a center manifold," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1217-1235, June.
    12. Park, Myung-Ho, 2006. "An analytical solution to the inverse consumption function with liquidity constraints," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 389-394, September.
    13. 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, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
    14. Engen, Eric M. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 545-579, June.
    15. 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, vol. 77(4), pages 630-46, September.
    16. Huggett, Mark, 1997. "The one-sector growth model with idiosyncratic shocks: Steady states and dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 385-403, August.
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