Social Insurance and the Public Budget
Restraints on the public budget may limit the ability of the public sector to use financial markets for the diversification of shocks. This interferes with the role of the public budget as a buffer which may provide insurance by stabilizing income and thereby private consumption. We consider this insurance or stabilizing role of public budgets and show why pro-cyclical budgets and a progressive taxation system may be optimal even when tax distortions are taken into account. Balanced budget restrictions interfere with this insurance effect, and they do not necessarily imply that a lower level of public consumption is optimal. Copyright 2002 by The London School of Economics and Political Science
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Volume (Year): 69 (2002)
Issue (Month): 275 (August)
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