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

Listed author(s):
  • Broer, Tobias

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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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. 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, 02.
  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, vol. 60(4), 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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