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The Survival of the Welfare State

Author

Listed:
  • John Hassler
  • José V. Rodríguez Mora
  • Kjetil Storesletten
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

Abstract

This paper provides an analytical characterization of Markov perfect equilibria in a model with repeated voting, where agents vote over distortionary income redistribution. A key result is that the future constituency for redistributive policies depends positively on current redistribution, since this affects both private investments and the future distribution of voters. The model features multiple equilibria. In some equilibria, positive redistribution persists forever. In other equilibria, even a majority of beneficiaries of redistribution vote strategically so as to induce the end of the welfare state next period. Skill-biased technical change makes the survival of the welfare state less likely.

Suggested Citation

  • John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2003. "The Survival of the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 87-112, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:93:y:2003:i:1:p:87-112
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282803321455179
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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