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Crowding out and crowding in: When does redistribution improve risk-sharing in limited commitment economies?

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  • Broer, Tobias

Abstract

When the risk of default constrains financial contracts, public insurance policies can significantly affect private risk-sharing. This is because by changing income expectations and volatility, redistribution changes the attractiveness of default and thus endogenous borrowing constraints. Extending results by Krueger and Perri (2011) [8], this paper analyses the conditions under which redistribution can improve private insurance by making default less attractive to the income-rich, whose income it reduces. I first explain why public redistribution typically crowds out private insurance in the two-income economy, and identify the role of income persistence and saving after default. Second, I show how, in endowment economies with three income states or more and in economies with capital, redistributive taxes can improve, or "crowd in", private consumption insurance. Finally, in a quantitative exercise using a realistic income process calibrated to US micro-data, moderate redistribution crowds in private insurance with production but not in an endowment economy.

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  • Broer, Tobias, 2011. "Crowding out and crowding in: When does redistribution improve risk-sharing in limited commitment economies?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 957-975, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:146:y:2011:i:3:p:957-975
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
    2. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, 2000. "Efficiency, Equilibrium, and Asset Pricing with Risk of Default," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 775-798, July.
    3. Krueger, Dirk & Uhlig, Harald, 2006. "Competitive risk sharing contracts with one-sided commitment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1661-1691, October.
    4. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
    5. Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2007. "Unemployment Insurance under Moral Hazard and Limited Commitment: Public versus Private Provision," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(1), pages 151-181, February.
    6. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Christopher I. & Yaron, Amir, 2004. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 609-633, April.
    7. Krueger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2011. "Public versus private risk sharing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 920-956, May.
    8. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine, 1993. "Debt-Constrained Asset Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, pages 865-888.
    9. 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.
    10. Zhang, Harold H, 1997. " Endogenous Borrowing Constraints with Incomplete Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 2187-2209, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Christian A. Stoltenberg & Vadym Lepetyuk, 2012. "Reconciling consumption inequality with income inequality," Working Papers. Serie AD 2012-19, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    2. Tobias Broer, 2013. "The Wrong Shape of Insurance? What Cross-Sectional Distributions Tell Us about Models of Consumption Smoothing," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 107-140, October.
    3. Röhrs, Sigrid & Winter, Christoph, 2015. "Public versus private provision of liquidity: Is there a trade-off?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 314-339.
    4. Vadym Lepetyuk & Christian A. Stoltenberg, 2013. "Reconciling Consumption Inequality with Income Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-124/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. Corbae, Dean & Marimon, Ramon, 2011. "Introduction to Incompleteness and Uncertainty in Economics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 775-784, May.
    6. Lin, Wanchuan & Liu, Yiming & Meng, Juanjuan, 2014. "The crowding-out effect of formal insurance on informal risk sharing: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 184-211.

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