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Optimal Social Insurance with Endogenous Health

  • Laun, Tobias


    (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)

This paper analyzes optimal insurance against unemployment and disability in a private information economy with endogenous health and search effort. Individuals can reduce the probability of becoming disabled by exerting, so-called, prevention effort, which is costly in terms of utility. A healthy, i.e., not disabled, individual either works or is unemployed. An unemployed individual can exert search effort in order to increase the probability of finding a new job. I show that the optimal sequence of consumption is increasing for a working individual and constant for a disabled individual. During unemployment, decreasing benefits are not necessarily optimal in this setting. The prevention constraint implies increasing benefits over time while the search constraint demands decreasing benefits while being unemployed. However, if individuals respond sufficiently much to search incentives, the latter effect dominates the former and the optimal consumption sequence is decreasing during unemployment.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 742.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 09 Mar 2012
Date of revision: 28 Apr 2012
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0742
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  1. Pavoni, Nicola, 2007. "On optimal unemployment compensation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1612-1630, September.
  2. Nicola Pavoni & Giovanni L. Violante, 2005. "Optimal welfare-to-work programs," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 143, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2004. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," NBER Working Papers 10792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. P. A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1977. "A Model of Social Insurance With Variable Retirement," Working papers 210, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Karlström, Anders & Palme, Mårten & Svensson, Ingemar, 2008. "The Employment Effect of Stricter Rules for Eligibility for DI: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Sweden," Research Papers in Economics 2008:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  6. Lisa Jönsson & Mårten Palme & Ingemar Svensson, 2011. "Disability Insurance, Population Health and Employment in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 17054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Chang, Roberto, 1998. "Credible Monetary Policy in an Infinite Horizon Model: Recursive Approaches," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 431-461, August.
  8. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
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