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Rethinking Social Insurance

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  • Martin Feldstein

Abstract

This paper begins by discussing the nature of and rationale for social insurance programs. I then consider three political principles and four economic principles that could guide the design and reform of social insurance programs. These ideas are then applied to unemployment insurance, Social Security pensions, health insurance and Medicare. A common theme is the advantage of incorporating investment based personal accounts in each of these programs.
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Suggested Citation

  • Martin Feldstein, 2005. "Rethinking Social Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 1-24, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:1:p:1-24
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828053828545
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0002828053828545
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Feldstein, Martin, 1996. "The Missing Piece in Policy Analysis: Social Security Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 1-14, May.
    2. Raj Chetty, 2004. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance When Income Effects are Large," NBER Working Papers 10500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Coronado Julia Lynn & Fullerton Don & Glass Thomas, 2011. "The Progressivity of Social Security," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-45, November.
    4. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
    5. Feldstein, Martin, 1987. "Should Social Security Benefits Be Means Tested?," Scholarly Articles 2770498, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Temporary Layoffs in the Theory of Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 937-957, October.
    7. Feldstein, Martin S, 1978. "The Welfare Cost of Capital Income Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages 29-51, April.
    8. Feldstein, Martin S, 1978. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance on Temporary Layoff Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(5), pages 834-846, December.
    9. Feldstein, Martin S, 1987. "Should Social Security Benefits Be Means Tested?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 468-484, June.
    10. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-926, Sept./Oct.
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    JEL classification:

    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

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