IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hou/wpaper/201302845.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How Do Politicians Save? Buffer Stock Management of Unemployment Insurance Finance

Author

Listed:
  • Steven Craig

    () (University of Houston)

  • Wided Hemissi

    () (University of Houston)

  • Satadru Mukherjee

    () (University of Memphis)

  • Bent E. Sorensen

    () (University of Houston)

Abstract

This paper uses Carroll's (1992) buffer stock model to study government savings behavior exemplifi ed by the Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs of U.S. states from 1976 to 2008. We find strong empirical support for the model from regressions and simulations. Empirically, we fi nd that political consump- tion, defi ned in the context of the model from discretionary components of UI benefi ts and taxes, rises when savings and other spendable resources rises. We calibrate and simulate the model using the methodology pioneered by Jappelli, Padula, and Pistaferri (2008) and we find the model fits well. A key implica- tion is that intertemporal planning by governments is expressed by a trade-off between impatience (politicians' desire to immediately expend all savings) and risk aversion (politicians' fear of running out of resources to support UI). We quantify the amount of fiscal stimulus from the UI program under buffer stock saving.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Craig & Wided Hemissi & Satadru Mukherjee & Bent E. Sorensen, 2012. "How Do Politicians Save? Buffer Stock Management of Unemployment Insurance Finance," Working Papers 201302845, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  • Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:201302845
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.uh.edu/econpapers/RePEc/hou/wpaper/201302845.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
    2. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-987, December.
    3. Wagner, Gary A & Elder, Erick M., 2007. "Revenue Cycles and the Distribution of Shortfalls in U.S. States: Implications for an "Optimal" Rainy Day Fund," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 60(4), pages 727-742, December.
    4. repec:mpr:mprres:5070 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Knight, Brian & Levinson, Arik, 1999. "Rainy Day Funds and State Government Savings," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 52(3), pages 459-472, September.
    6. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-1248, September.
    7. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior of U. S. Public Debt and Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963.
    8. Torsten Persson & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1989. "Why a Stubborn Conservative would Run a Deficit: Policy with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 325-345.
    9. Pierfederico Asdrubali & Bent E. Sørensen & Oved Yosha, 1996. "Channels of Interstate Risk Sharing: United States 1963–1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1081-1110.
    10. Aiyagari, S. Rao & McGrattan, Ellen R., 1998. "The optimum quantity of debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 447-469, October.
    11. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters,in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Holtz-Eakin Douglas & Rosen Harvey S. & Tilly Schuyler, 1994. "Intertemporal Analysis of State and Local Government Spending: Theory and Tests," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 159-174, March.
    13. Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula & Luigi Pistaferri, 2008. "A Direct Test of The Buffer-Stock Model of Saving," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1186-1210, December.
    14. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    15. Christopher D. Carroll, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55.
    16. Toke Aidt & Francisco Veiga & Linda Veiga, 2011. "Election results and opportunistic policies: A new test of the rational political business cycle model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 21-44, July.
    17. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
    18. Campbell, John Y & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1990. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(3), pages 265-279, July.
    19. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
    20. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
    21. Antonio Fatás & Ilian Mihov, 2003. "The Case for Restricting Fiscal Policy Discretion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1419-1447.
    22. Sorensen, Bent E. & Wu, Lisa & Yosha, Oved, 2001. "Output fluctuations and fiscal policy: U.S. state and local governments 1978-1994," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1271-1310.
    23. Campbell, John Y, 1987. "Does Saving Anticipate Declining Labor Income? An Alternative Test of the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1249-1273, November.
    24. repec:mcb:jmoncb:v:45:y:2013:i::p:277-298 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. 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.
    26. Poterba, James M., 1995. "Balanced Budget Rules and Fiscal Policy: Evidence From the States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 48(3), pages 329-336, September.
    27. Lars-Erik Borge & Per Tovmo, 2009. "Myopic or Constrained by Balanced-Budget Rules? The Intertemporal Spending Behavior of Norwegian Local Governments," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 65(2), pages 200-219, June.
    28. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Optimal Taxation and Social Insurance with Endogenous Private Insurance," NBER Chapters,in: Income Taxation, Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), pages 85-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Walter Nicholson & Karen Needels, "undated". "Unemployment Insurance: Strengthening the Relationship Between Theory and Policy," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 062881e2c70d4513829b70fee, Mathematica Policy Research.
    30. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
    31. Massimo Antonini & Kevin Lee & Jacinta Pires, 2013. "Public Sector Debt Dynamics: The Persistence and Sources of Shocks to Debt in 10 EU Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(2-3), pages 277-298, March.
    32. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, April.
    33. Bohn, Henning, 1995. "The Sustainability of Budget Deficits in a Stochastic Economy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 257-271, February.
    34. Walter Nicholson & Karen Needels, 2006. "Unemployment Insurance: Strengthening the Relationship between Theory and Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 47-70, Summer.
    35. Knight, Brian & Levinson, Arik, 1999. "Rainy Day Funds and State Government Savings," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 3), pages 459-72, September.
    36. Craig, Steven G. & Hoang, Edward C., 2011. "State government response to income fluctuations: Consumption, insurance, and capital expenditures," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 343-351, July.
    37. Poterba, James M., 1995. "Balanced Budget Rules and Fiscal Policy: Evidence From the States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(3), pages 329-36, September.
    38. Gary Wagner & Russell Sobel, 2006. "State budget stabilization fund adoption: Preparing for the next recession or circumventing fiscal constraints?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 177-199, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Mathias Dolls & Clemens Fuest & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl, 2018. "An unemployment insurance scheme for the euro area? A comparison of different alternatives using microdata," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(1), pages 273-309, February.
    2. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2017. "Housing booms and busts and local fiscal policy," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-001, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    buffer stock; state goverment saving; unemployment insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H74 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Borrowing
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:201302845. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dietrich Vollrath). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/decuhus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.