IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_4217.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Has Public Insurance Gone Too Far?

Author

Listed:
  • Ludger Schuknecht

Abstract

This study argues that insurance is a much more pervasive motive of government activity than is commonly thought; one associated with great benefits but also great risks. From the start of public social insurance in the late 19th century, social insurance has come a long way to "all-inclusive" modern welfare states that absorb, on average, 25% of GDP in industrialised countries. Moreover, governments today are expected to "insure" aggregate demand via public spending and jobs, and economic sectors − most notably the financial industry − via subsidies and bailouts. Public insurance has also spread across borders via international support programmes. All this has not only boosted government debt to historic peace-time highs, but also led to significant potential future government liabilities via social security systems and possible further national and international financial support programmes. While the distributional implications are ambivalent, the compound effects have put the sustainability of public finances and macroeconomic stability at risk in many countries. Correcting over-commitments requires ambitious and timely policy action.

Suggested Citation

  • Ludger Schuknecht, 2013. "Has Public Insurance Gone Too Far?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4217, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4217
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp4217.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tanzi,Vito & Schuknecht,Ludger, 2000. "Public Spending in the 20th Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662918.
    2. Ludger Schuknecht & Philippe Moutot & Philipp Rother & Jürgen Stark, 2011. "The Stability and Growth Pact: Crisis and Reform," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(3), pages 10-18, October.
    3. Hans-Werner Sinn & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2012. "Target loans, current account balances and capital flows: the ECB’s rescue facility," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(4), pages 468-508, August.
    4. repec:ces:ifodic:v:9:y:2011:i:3:p:16750160 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sebastian Hauptmeier & Martin Heipertz & Ludger Schuknecht, 2007. "Expenditure Reform in Industrialised Countries: A Case-Study Approach," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(3), pages 293-342, September.
    6. Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Sanchez-Fuentes, A. Jesus & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2011. "Towards expenditure rules and fiscal sanity in the euro area," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 597-617, July.
    7. Fabian Valencia & Luc Laeven, 2008. "Systemic Banking Crises; A New Database," IMF Working Papers 08/224, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Alan T. Peacock & Jack Wiseman, 1961. "The Growth of Public Expenditure in the United Kingdom," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number peac61-1.
    9. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna, 2013. "The Design of Fiscal Adjustments," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 27, pages 19-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Rieck & Ludger Schuknecht, 2017. "Preserving Government Solvency: A Global Policy Perspective," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 14(4), pages 71-81, 02.
    2. repec:ces:ifodic:v:14:y:2017:i:4:p:19267794 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4217. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.