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On the Redistributive Effect of Upper Benefit Limits in Bismarckian Social Insurance

Author

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  • Andreas Bergh

    (Department of Economics, Lund University, Sweden)

Abstract

This paper examines the redistributive effect of upper benefit limits (“ceilings”) in short term Bismarckian social insurance. Using data describing the Swedish sickness benefit we show that ceilings create a small redistribution at fairly high costs in terms of total utility and political sustainability. The simulation suggests that social insurance schemes with ceilings are politically more vulnerable to competition from private insurance markets than social insurance where the same amount of redistribution is produced by progressive taxes or higher universal benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Bergh, 2004. "On the Redistributive Effect of Upper Benefit Limits in Bismarckian Social Insurance," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 73-78, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:fep:journl:v:17:y:2004:i:2:p:73-78
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    File URL: http://www.taloustieteellinenyhdistys.fi/images/stories/fep/fep22004_bergh.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2003. "Social insurance competition between Bismarck and Beveridge," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 181-196, July.
    2. Casamatta, Georges & Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. "Political sustainability and the design of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 341-364, March.
    3. De Donder, Philippe & Hindriks, Jean, 1998. "The Political Economy of Targeting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 177-200, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Bergh, 2008. "Explaining the Survival of the Swedish Welfare State: Maintaining Political Support Through Incremental Change," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 32(3), pages 233-254.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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