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Insuring Educational Risk: Opportunities versus Income

  • Dirk Schindler
  • Benjamin Weigert

We develop a model of education where individuals face educational risk. Successfully entering the skilled labor sector depends on individual effort in education and public resources, but educational risk still causes (income) inequality. We show that an optimal public policy consists of deferred skill-specific tuition fees, lump-sum transfers/taxes, and public funding of the educational sector. We argue that improved educational opportunities matter more than direct income transfers in a Second-best setting. Contrary to standard models of income risk, it is not optimal to use a proportional wage tax, because combining skill-specific tuition fees and public education spending provide both insurance and redistribution at lower costs. A wage tax is only optimal if skill-specific tuition fees are not available.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-07/cesifo1_wp2348.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2348.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2348
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  1. Andersson, Fredrik & Konrad, Kai A., 2002. "Human capital investment and globalization in extortionary states
    [Humankapitalinvestitionen und Globalisierung in Ausbeutungsstaaten]
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance FS IV 02-01, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  2. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S, 1980. "Taxation, Human Capital, and Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 705-15, September.
  3. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1996. "Social Insurance, Incentives and Risk Taking," Munich Reprints in Economics 19834, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Lans Bovenberg, A. & Jacobs, Bas, 2005. "Redistribution and education subsidies are Siamese twins," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2005-2035, December.
  5. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Walde, Klaus, 2000. "Efficiency and Equity Effects of Subsidies to Higher Education," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 702-22, October.
  6. Kodde, David A, 1986. "Uncertainty and the Demand for Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(3), pages 460-67, August.
  7. Anderberg, Dan & Andersson, Fredrik, 2003. "Investments in human capital, wage uncertainty, and public policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1521-1537, August.
  8. J. A. Mirrlees, 1976. "Optimal Tax Theory: A Synthesis," Working papers 176, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Andersson, Fredrik & Konrad, Kai A, 2003. "Globalization and Risky Human-Capital Investment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 211-28, May.
  10. BOADWAY, Robin & MARCHAND, Maurice & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Optimal linear income taxation in models with occupational choice," CORE Discussion Papers RP -958, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Darío Maldonado, 2008. "Education policies and optimal taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 131-143, April.
  12. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
  13. Bas Jacobs & Sweder J. G. van Wijnbergen, 2007. "Capital-Market Failure, Adverse Selection, and Equity Financing of Higher Education," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(1), pages 1-32, March.
  14. David E. Wildasin, 2000. "Labor-Market Integration, Investment in Risky Human Capital, and Fiscal Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 73-95, March.
  15. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten & Heckman, James, 2003. "Estimating distributions of treatment effects with an application to the returns to schooling and measurement of the effects of uncertainty on college choice," Working Paper Series 2003:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  16. Bas Jacobs & Lans Bovenberg, 2008. "Optimal Taxation of Human Capital and theEarnings Function," CESifo Working Paper Series 2250, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. repec:dgr:uvatin:20050036 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Levhari, David & Weiss, Yoram, 1974. "The Effect of Risk on the Investment in Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 950-63, December.
  19. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 1980. "Labor supply, uncertainty, and efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 365-374, December.
  20. Hamilton, Jonathan H, 1987. "Optimal Wage and Income Taxation with Wage Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(2), pages 373-88, June.
  21. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005036 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Kodde, David A., 1988. "Unemployment expectations and human capital formation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1645-1660, October.
  23. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-34, August.
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