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Social Insurance and the Public Budget


  • Andersen, Torben M
  • Dogonowski, Robert R


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

Suggested Citation

  • Andersen, Torben M & Dogonowski, Robert R, 2002. "Social Insurance and the Public Budget," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(275), pages 415-431, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:69:y:2002:i:275:p:415-31

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W, 1988. "Altruism and Time Consistency: The Economics of Fait Accompli," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1165-1182, December.
    2. Matthews, Steven & Moore, John, 1987. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 441-467, March.
    3. Kai A. Konrad & Gert Wagner, 2000. "Reform of the Public Pension System in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 200, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Social security in theory and practice (II): Efficiency theories, narrative theories and implications for reform," Economics Working Papers 385, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    5. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
    6. Homburg, Stefan, 2000. "Compulsory savings in the welfare state," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 233-239, August.
    7. Stefan Homburg, 2001. "The Optimal Income Tax: Restatement and Extensions," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(4), pages 363-395, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Torben Andersen, 2005. "Is there a Role for an Active Fiscal Stabilization Policy?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1447, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Torben Andersen, 2005. "Social Security and Longevity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1577, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Andersen, Torben M. & Spange, Morten, 2006. "International interdependencies in fiscal stabilization policies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1169-1195, July.
    4. Torben Andersen, 2006. "Increasing Longevity and Social Security Reforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 1789, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Torben M. Andersen, 2015. "Incentive And Insurance Effects Of Income Taxation," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 209-226, July.

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