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

  • Broer, Tobias
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    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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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022053111000494
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

    Volume (Year): 146 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 957-975

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:146:y:2011:i:3:p:957-975
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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    1. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
    2. Krueger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2010. "Public versus Private Risk Sharing," CEPR Discussion Papers 7625, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Dirk Krueger & Harald Uhlig, 2005. "Competitive Risk Sharing Contracts with One-Sided Commitment," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-003, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    4. Kehoe, Timothy J & Levine, David K, 1993. "Debt-Constrained Asset Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 865-88, October.
    5. Zhang, Harold H, 1997. " Endogenous Borrowing Constraints with Incomplete Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 2187-2209, December.
    6. Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worral, 2004. "Unemployment Insurance under Moral Hazard and Limited Commitment: Public versus Private Provision," ESE Discussion Papers 95, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    7. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, 1997. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," GSIA Working Papers 228, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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