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How Do Politicians Save? Buffer Stock Management of Unemployment Insurance Finance

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  • Craig, Steven G.
  • Hemissi, Wided
  • Mukherjee, Satadru
  • Sørensen, Bent E

Abstract

This paper successfully fits a model of forward looking government savings behavior to data from the U.S. state Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs 1976-2008. Specifically, we find states do not perfectly smooth tax rates in Barro's sense, but follow behavior consistent with a buffer stock model where politicians trade-off their desire to immediately expend all savings against the fear of running out of funds. We find that states increase benefits or lower taxes when savings balances are high. State UI budgets, as rationalized by the buffer stock model, display surpluses that are more pro-cyclical than Barro's model would imply but substantially less cyclical than contemporaneous budget balance.

Suggested Citation

  • Craig, Steven G. & Hemissi, Wided & Mukherjee, Satadru & Sørensen, Bent E, 2013. "How Do Politicians Save? Buffer Stock Management of Unemployment Insurance Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 9520, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9520
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    Cited by:

    1. Mathias Dolls & Clemens Fuest & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl, 2018. "An unemployment insurance scheme for the euro area? A comparison of different alternatives using microdata," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(1), pages 273-309, February.
    2. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2017. "Housing booms and busts and local fiscal policy," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-001, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    forward looking politicians; impatience; precautionary saving;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H74 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Borrowing

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