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A Continuous Model of Income Insurance


  • Lindbeck, Assar

    () (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

  • Persson, Mats

    () (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)


We develop a simple yet realistic model of income insurance, where the individual’s ability and willingness to work is treated as a continuous variable. In this framework, income insurance not only provides income smoothing, it also relieves the individual from particularly burdensome work. As a result, the individual adjusts his labor supply in a continuous fashion to the implicit tax wedge of the insurance system. Moral hazard, in the sense that an individual receives insurance benefits without actually being fully qualified, also becomes a matter of degree. Moreover, our continuous framework makes it easy to analyze both the role of administrative rejection of claims, and the role of social norms, for the utilization of insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar & Persson, Mats, 2008. "A Continuous Model of Income Insurance," Seminar Papers 756, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0756

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
    2. Peter A. Diamond, 2005. "Taxation, Incomplete Markets, and Social Security," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262541823, January.
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    6. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-1035, December.
    7. Lindbeck, Assar & Persson, Mats, 2006. "A Model of Income Insurance and Social Norms," Working Paper Series 659, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    8. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2003. "Designing optimal disability insurance," Working Papers 628, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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    11. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2006. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 257-279, April.
    12. Whinston, Michael D., 1983. "Moral hazard, adverse selection, and the optimal provision of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 49-71, October.
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    14. Michael Rothschild & Joseph Stiglitz, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 629-649.
    15. Rees, Ray & Wambach, Achim, 2008. "The Microeconomics of Insurance," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 4(1–2), pages 1-163, February.
    16. Brown, Sarah & Sessions, John G, 1996. " The Economics of Absence: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 23-53, March.
    17. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
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    21. Diamond, Peter & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1995. "Economic aspects of optimal disability benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 1-23, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Calmfors, Lars, 2010. "Fiscal Policy Coordination in Europe," Seminar Papers 765, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    2. Assar Lindbeck & Mårten Palme & Mats Persson, 2016. "Sickness Absence and Local Benefit Cultures," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 118(1), pages 49-78, January.

    More about this item


    Moral hazard; disability insurance; work absence; administrative rejection; asymmetric information; social norms;

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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