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Risk sharing: private insurance markets or redistributive taxes?

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  • Dirk Krueger
  • Fabrizio Perri

Abstract

We explore the welfare consequences of different taxation schemes in an economy where agents are debt-constrained. If agents default on their debt, they are banned from future credit markets, but retain their private endowments which are subject to income taxation. A change in the tax system changes the severity of punishment from default and, hence, leads to a limitation of possible risk sharing via private contracts. The welfare consequences of a change in the tax system depend on the relative magnitudes of increased risk sharing forced by the new tax system and the reduced risk sharing in private insurance markets. We quantitatively address this issue by calibrating an artificial economy to US income and tax data. We show that for a plausible selection of the structural parameters of our model, the change to a more redistributive tax system leads to less risk sharing among individuals and lower ex-ante welfare.

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  • Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 1999. "Risk sharing: private insurance markets or redistributive taxes?," Staff Report 262, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:262
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    Cited by:

    1. Dirk Kreuger & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory," Working Papers 02-15, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    2. Krueger, Dirk & Uhlig, Harald, 2006. "Competitive risk sharing contracts with one-sided commitment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1661-1691, October.
    3. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2007. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 487-534.
    4. Attanasio, Orazio & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2000. "Consumption smoothing in island economies: Can public insurance reduce welfare?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1225-1258, June.
    5. Juan A. Rojas & Carlos Urrutia, 2004. "Social Security Reform with Uninsurable Income Risk and Endogenous Borrowing Constraints," Working Papers 0409, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    6. Athreya, Kartik B., 2002. "Welfare implications of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1999," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 1567-1595, November.
    7. Yili Chien & Junsang Lee, 2006. "Why Tax Capital?," 2006 Meeting Papers 492, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Jon Strand, 2002. "Effects of Progressive Taxes under Decentralized Bargaining and Heterogeneous Labor," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(2), pages 195-210, March.
    9. Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2007. "Unemployment Insurance under Moral Hazard and Limited Commitment: Public versus Private Provision," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(1), pages 151-181, February.
    10. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2002. "Informal Family Insurance And The Design Of The Welfare State," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 481-503, July.
    11. David Andolfatto, 2002. "A Theory of Inalienable Property Rights," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 382-393, April.
    12. YiLi Chien & JunSang Lee, 2006. "Optimal Capital Taxation under Limited Commitment," 2006 Meeting Papers 430, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Alexander Monge-Naranjo & Luis J. Hall, 2003. "Access to Credit and the Effect of Credit Constraints on Costa Rican Manufacturing Firms," Research Department Publications 3164, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    14. Costas Azariadis & Leo Kaas, 2004. "Endogenous Financial Development and Multiple Growth Regimes," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/08, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    15. Lance Lochner & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2002. "Human Capital Formation with Endogenous Credit Constraints," NBER Working Papers 8815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Charles Grant, 2000. "Bankruptcy, Credit Constraints, and Insurance: Some Empirics," CSEF Working Papers 40, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    17. David Andolfatto & Martin Gervais, 2006. "Human Capital Investment and Debt Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(1), pages 52-67, January.
    18. Krueger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2002. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3583, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Juan A. Rojas & Carlos Urrutia, 2008. "Social Security with Uninsurable Income Risk and Endogenous Borrowing Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(1), pages 83-103, January.
    20. Jonathan P Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2002. "Unemployment Insurance under Moral Hazard and Limited Commitment: Public vs Private Provision," Public Economics 0211002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2005. "The Research Agenda: Dirk Krueger and Fabrizio Perri on Risk Sharing across Households, Generations and Countries," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(2), April.
    22. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2002. "Money: What's the Question and Why Should We Care About the Answer?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 58-61, May.

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    Keywords

    Taxation ; Tax reform;

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