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Taxation, Insurance and Precautionary Labor

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  • Nick Netzer
  • Florian Scheuer

Abstract

We examine optimal taxation and social insurance if insurance markets are imperfect. This requires the development of a theory of labor supply under uncertainty. We show that the case for social insurance is not generally reinforced by adverse selection in insurance markets as social insurance will have welfare-decreasing effects on the labor market. Furthermore, positive and normative implications are highly sensitive to the insurance market equilibrium concept. While for the Rothschild-Stiglitz case social insurance at least alleviates the ineffciency of underinsurance, with a Wilson pooling equilibrium this ineffciency might even be worsened by social insurance. This sheds new light on the question whether social insurance is an appropriate means of redistribution in the presence of an optimally chosen tax schedule.

Suggested Citation

  • Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2005. "Taxation, Insurance and Precautionary Labor," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 516, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp516
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hartwick, John M., 2000. "Labor supply under wage uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 319-325, September.
    2. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    3. Robin Boadway & Manuel Leite-Monteiro & Maurice Marchand & Pierre Pestieau, 2006. "Social Insurance and Redistribution with Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(2), pages 279-298, July.
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    7. Riley, John G, 1979. "Informational Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 331-359, March.
    8. Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau, 1996. "Redistributive taxation and social insurance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(3), pages 281-295, July.
    9. Netzer, Nick & Scheuer, Florian, 2007. "Taxation, insurance, and precautionary labor," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1519-1531, August.
    10. Andrew B. Abel, "undated". "The Implications of Insurance for the Efficacy of Fiscal Policy," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 06-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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    13. Jonathan Eaton & Harvey S. Rosen, 1979. "Notes on Optimal Wage Taxation and Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 0388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Dominique Henriet & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2006. "Is public health insurance an appropriate instrument for redistribution?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 83-84, pages 61-88.
    15. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
    16. Simon C. Parker & Yacine Belghitar & Tim Barmby, 2005. "Wage Uncertainty and the Labour Supply of Self-Employed Workers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(502), pages 190-207, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kifmann, Mathias & Roeder, Kerstin, 2011. "Premium subsidies and social health insurance: Substitutes or complements?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1207-1218.
    2. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2006. "Competitive Screening in Insurance Markets with Endogenous Labor Supply," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 614, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Netzer, Nick & Scheuer, Florian, 2007. "Taxation, insurance, and precautionary labor," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1519-1531, August.
    4. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2010. "Competitive screening in insurance markets with endogenous wealth heterogeneity," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 44(2), pages 187-211, August.
    5. Wu, T.C. Michael & Yang, C.C., 2014. "Income tax deductions for losses as insurance revisited," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 274-280.
    6. Huang, Rachel J. & Tsai, Jeffrey T. & Tzeng, Larry Y., 2008. "Government-provided annuities under insolvency risk," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 377-385, December.
    7. Nga Le Thi Quynh & Groot, Wim & Tomini, Sonila M. & Tomini, Florian, 2017. "Effects of health insurance on labour supply: A systematic review," MERIT Working Papers 017, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Redistributive taxation; Social insurance; Adverse selection; Precautionary labor;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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