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Building blocks in the economics of mandates

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  • John Addison

    ()

  • Richard Barrett
  • W. Siebert

Abstract

The paper constructs an asymmetric information model to investigate the efficiency and equity cases for government mandated benefits. A mandate can improve workers' insurance, and may also redistribute in favour of more "deserving" workers. The risk is that it may also reduce output. The more diverse are free market contracts – separating the various worker types – the more likely it is that such output effects will on balance serve to reduce welfare. It is shown that adverse effects can be reduced by restricting mandates to larger firms. An alternative to a mandate is direct government provision. We demonstrate that direct government provision has the advantage over mandates of preserving separations.
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Suggested Citation

  • John Addison & Richard Barrett & W. Siebert, 2006. "Building blocks in the economics of mandates," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 5(2), pages 69-87, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:portec:v:5:y:2006:i:2:p:69-87
    DOI: 10.1007/s10258-006-0009-2
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10258-006-0009-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Rothschild & Joseph Stiglitz, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 629-649.
    2. Dionne, Georges & Lasserre, Pierre, 1987. "Adverse selection and finite-horizon insurance contracts," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 843-861, June.
    3. Hellwig, Martin, 1987. "Some recent developments in the theory of competition in markets with adverse selection ," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 319-325.
    4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317.
    5. Cooper, Russell & Hayes, Beth, 1987. "Multi-period insurance contracts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 211-231.
    6. Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-183, May.
    7. Stewart, Jay, 1994. "The Welfare Implications of Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection in Competitive Insurance Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(2), pages 193-208, April.
    8. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
    9. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-938, October.
    10. Aghion, Philippe & Hermalin, Benjamin, 1990. "Legal Restrictions on Private Contracts Can Enhance Efficiency," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 381-409, Fall.
    11. Levine, David I, 1991. "Just-Cause Employment Policies in the Presence of Worker Adverse Selection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(3), pages 294-305, July.
    12. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "From Bismarck to Maastricht: The March to European Union and the Labor Compact," Working Papers 803, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    13. Krueger, Alan B., 2000. "From Bismarck to Maastricht: The March to European Union and the Labor Compact1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 117-134, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Blandina Oliveira & Adelino Fortunato, 2008. "The dynamics of the growth of firms: evidence from the services sector," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 293-312, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asymmetric information; Labour mandates; Compensation packages; D82; J33;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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