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Intergenerational Redistribution, Health Care, and Politics


  • Lundin, Douglas

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Sáez Martí, María

    () (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)


Publicly provided health care implies considerable intergenerational redistribution. The possibility of accumulating a fund or debt will affect the degree of redistribution as well as how efficient the financing of health care is. In a voting model we study how governments inability to make binding long-term policy commitments will affect the accumulation of a fund or debt. Today's government will base its policy decisions on expectations about future governments behavior and simply follow suit, which results in strong political inertia. Either a fund or debt may therefore be upheld in political equilibrium. But no mechanism ensure that it is at its optimal level. If there is fund in steady state, the more political clout the old have the smaller will the fund be, i.e saving decrease. If there is debt, however, a politically stronger old generation may imply a smaller debt, i.e. savings increase.

Suggested Citation

  • Lundin, Douglas & Sáez Martí, María, 2002. "Intergenerational Redistribution, Health Care, and Politics," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 486, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0486

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2003. "The Survival of the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 87-112, March.
    2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
    3. Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Per Krusell, 1999. "On the Size of U.S. Government: Political Economy in the Neoclassical Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1156-1181, December.
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    More about this item


    Voting; health expenditure; intergenerational transfers; dynamic politics;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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