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Present-Biased Preferences and Publicly Provided Health Care

  • Aronsson, Thomas

    (Umeå University)

  • Granlund, David

    (The Swedish Retail Institute (HUI))

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    In this paper, we analyze the welfare effects of publicly provided health care in an economy where the consumers have "present-biased" preferences due to quasi-hyperbolic discounting. The analysis is based on a two-type model with asymmetric information between the government and the private sector, and each consumer lives for three periods. We present formal conditions under which public provision to the young and middle-aged generation, respectively, leads to higher welfare. Our results show that quasi-hyperbolic discounting provides a strong incentive for public provision to the young generation; especially if the consumers are naive (instead of sophisticated).

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    Paper provided by HUI Research in its series HUI Working Papers with number 41.

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    Length: 36 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Sep 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:huiwps:0041
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    1. Blomquist, Suren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1995. " Public Provision of Private Goods as a Redistributive Device in an Optimum Income Tax Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 547-67, December.
    2. Pirttila, Jukka & Tuomala, Matti, 2001. "On optimal non-linear taxation and public good provision in an overlapping generations economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 485-501, March.
    3. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Stern, Nicholas, 1982. "Optimum taxation with errors in administration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 181-211, March.
    5. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    6. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Studying Optimal Paternalism, Illustrated by a Model of Sin Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 186-191, May.
    7. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    8. John Hey & Gianna Lotito, 2009. "Naive, resolute or sophisticated? A study of dynamic decision making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-25, February.
    9. Alexander L. Brown & Zhikang Eric Chua & Colin F. Camerer, 2009. "Learning and Visceral Temptation in Dynamic Saving Experiments-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 197-231, February.
    10. Thomas Aronsson & Olof Johansson‐Stenman, 2010. "Positional Concerns In An Olg Model: Optimal Labor And Capital Income Taxation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1071-1095, November.
    11. Aronsson, Thomas & Thunström, Linda, 2008. "A note on optimal paternalism and health capital subsidies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 241-242, December.
    12. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    13. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2006. "Optimal sin taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1825-1849, November.
    14. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
    15. Craig Brett & John Weymark, 2008. "Optimal Nonlinear Taxation of Income and Savings without Commitment," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0805, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    16. Thomas Aronsson & Tomas Sjögren & Torbjörn Dalin, 2009. "Optimal taxation and redistribution in an OLG model with unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 198-218, April.
    17. Robin W. Boadway & Maurice Marchand, 1990. "The Use of Public Expenditure for Distributive Purpose," Working Papers 796, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    18. Aronsson, Thomas & Sjögren, Tomas, 2009. "Quasi-Hyperbolic Discounting and Mixed Taxation," Umeå Economic Studies 778, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    19. Boadway, R. & Marchand, M., . "The use of public expenditures for redistributive purposes," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1131, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    20. Brett, Craig, 1998. "A note on nonlinear taxation in an overlapping generations model," MPRA Paper 8776, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Blomquist, S. & Christiansen, V., 1995. "Topping Up of Opting Out? The Optimal Design of Public Provision Schemes," Papers 1995-13, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    22. Jukka Pirttilä & Sanna Tenhunen, 2005. "Pawns and Queens Revisited: Public Provision of Private Goods when Individuals make Mistakes," CESifo Working Paper Series 1466, CESifo Group Munich.
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