IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Optimal Taxation and Social Insurance with Endogenous Private Insurance

  • Raj Chetty
  • Emmanuel Saez

We characterize welfare gains from government intervention when the private sector provides partial insurance. We analyze models in which adverse selection, pre-existing information, or imperfect optimization create a role for government intervention. We derive formulas that map existing empirical estimates into quantitative predictions for optimal policy. When private insurance generates moral hazard, standard formulas for optimal government insurance must be modified to account for fiscal externalities. In contrast, standard formulas are unaffected by "informal" private insurance that does not generate moral hazard. Applications to health and unemployment show that formal private market insurance can significantly reduce optimal government benefit rates. (JEL D82, G22, H21, H23, J65)

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://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/pol.2.2.85
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/pol/data/2008-0137_data.zip
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 85-114

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:2:y:2010:i:2:p:85-114
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.2.2.85
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-policy
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

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. Louis Kaplow, 1989. "Incentives and Government Relief for Risk," NBER Working Papers 3007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Boadway, Robin & Leite-Monteiro, Manuel & Marchand, Maurice G. & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Social Insurance and Redistribution with Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection," CEPR Discussion Papers 4253, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Blomqvist, Ake & Johansson, Per-Olov, 1996. "Economic Efficiency and Mixed Public/Private Insurance," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 110, Stockholm School of Economics.
  4. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2008. "Optimal Taxation and Social Insurance with Endogenous Private Insurance," NBER Working Papers 14403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jonathan Gruber, 1994. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Chetty, Nadarajan, 2009. "Sufficient Statistics for Welfare Analysis: A Bridge Between Structural and Reduced-Form Methods," Scholarly Articles 9748528, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. repec:adr:anecst:y:2006:i:83-84:p:12 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Diamond, Peter A, 1998. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Example with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 83-95, March.
  9. Selden, Thomas M., 1993. "Should the government provide catastrophic insurance?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 241-247, June.
  10. Cutler, David M & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "The Effect of Medicaid Expansions on Public Insurance, Private Insurance, and Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 378-83, May.
  11. Finkelstein, Amy, 2004. "The interaction of partial public insurance programs and residual private insurance markets: evidence from the US Medicare program," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-24, January.
  12. Petretto, Alessandro, 1999. "Optimal social health insurance with supplementary private insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 727-745, December.
  13. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 1995. "Redistributive Taxation and Social Insurance," CORE Discussion Papers 1995054, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. Chetty, Raj, 2006. "A general formula for the optimal level of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1879-1901, November.
  15. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
  16. Raj Chetty, 2006. "A New Method of Estimating Risk Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1821-1834, December.
  17. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Out Spousal Labor Supply?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 546-72, July.
  18. Robert Shimer & Iván Werning, 2007. "Reservation Wages and Unemployment Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1145-1185.
  19. Robert M. Townsend, . "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  20. BOADWAY, Robin & LEITE-MONTEIRO, Manuel & MARCHAND, Maurice & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2001. "Social insurance and redistribution," CORE Discussion Papers 2001041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  21. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Mark R. Cullen, 2008. "Estimating Welfare in Insurance Markets Using Variation in Prices," NBER Working Papers 14414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Wolfe, John R. & Goddeeris, John H., 1991. "Adverse selection, moral hazard, and wealth effects in the medigap insurance market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 433-459.
  23. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard vs. Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 13967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2007. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 487-534.
  25. Prescott, Edward C & Townsend, Robert M, 1984. "Pareto Optima and Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 21-45, January.
  26. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-76, October.
  27. Francesca Barigozzi, 2006. "Supplementary Insurance with 'ex post' moral hazard: efficiency and redistribution," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 83-84, pages 295-325.
  28. Mark V. Pauly, 1974. "Overinsurance and Public Provision of Insurance: The Roles of Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 44-62.
  29. Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 315-72, June.
  30. Robert F. Schoeni, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Displace Familiar Assistance?," Working Papers 00-05, RAND Corporation.
  31. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
  32. Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low & Virginia Sánchez-Marcos, 2005. "Female Labor Supply As Insurance Against Idiosyncratic Risk," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 755-764, 04/05.
  33. Chetty, Raj, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Scholarly Articles 9751256, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  34. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
  35. Michael Rothschild & Joseph Stiglitz, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 629-649.
  36. Attanasio, Orazio & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2000. "Consumption smoothing in island economies: Can public insurance reduce welfare?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1225-1258, June.
  37. repec:adr:anecst:y:2006:i:83-84 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. Besley, Timothy, 1989. "Publicly provided disaster insurance for health and the control of moral hazard," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 141-156, July.
  39. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
  40. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
  41. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
  42. Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance And Unemployment Spells," NBER Working Papers 2546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  43. Prescott, Edward C & Townsend, Robert M, 1984. "General Competitive Analysis in an Economy with Private Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-20, February.
  44. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Erratum: Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1197-1197, December.
  45. Blomqvist, Ake & Horn, Henrik, 1984. "Public health insurance and optimal income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 353-371, August.
  46. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430.
  47. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
  48. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Optimal Taxation and Social Insurance with Endogenous Private Insurance (AEJ:EP 2010) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:2:y:2010:i:2:p:85-114. 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: (Jane Voros)

or (Michael P. Albert)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.