IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/htr/hcecon/436.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On the Optimal Design of Disaster Insurance in a Federation

Author

Abstract

Recent experience with disasters and terrorist attacks in the US indicates that state and local governments rely on the federal sector for support after disasters occur. But these same governments invest in infrastructure designed to reduce vulnerability to natural and man-made hazards. We show that when the federal government is committed to full insurance against disasters, regions will have incentives to under-invest in ex-ante protective measures. We derive the structure of the optimal second-best insurance system when regional governments choose investment levels non-cooperatively and the central government cannot verify regional investment choices. For low probability disasters this will result in lower ex-post intergovernmental transfers (and hence less ex-post redistribution) and greater ex-ante investment. However, the second-best transfer scheme suffers from a time-inconsistency problem. Ex-post, the central government will be driven towards full insurance rather than the second-best grants, which results in a type of soft budget constraint problem. Sub-national governments will anticipate this and reduce their investment in protective infrastructure even further. The result is that the central government may be better off suffering the underinvestment that results with first-best transfers because investment is even lower under second-best transfers when the central government is unable to commit.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy J. Goodspeed & Andrew Haughwout, 2011. "On the Optimal Design of Disaster Insurance in a Federation," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 436, Hunter College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:htr:hcecon:436
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://econ.hunter.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/RePEc/papers/Goodspeed_Haughwout_disasters_april25_2011.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Gilberto Turati & Luigi Buzzacchi, 2009. "Optimal risk allocation in the provision of local public services: can a private insurer be better than a public mutual fund?," Working Papers 2009/21, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    3. Timothy Goodspeed, 2002. "Bailouts in a Federation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(4), pages 409-421, August.
    4. Cornes, Richard C. & Silva, Emilson C. D., 2000. "Local Public Goods, Risk Sharing, and Private Information in Federal Systems," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 39-60, January.
    5. Lockwood, Ben, 1999. "Inter-regional insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-37, April.
    6. Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1990. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 155-165.
    7. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 623-646, May.
    8. David Wildasin, 2007. "Disaster Policy in the US Federation: Intergovernmental Incentives and Institutional Reform," Working Papers 2007-01, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    9. Thomas A. Garrett & Russell S. Sobel, 2003. "The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 496-509, July.
    10. Massimo Bordignon & Paolo Manasse & Guido Tabellini, 2001. "Optimal Regional Redistribution under Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 709-723, June.
    11. Melitz, Jacques & Zumer, Frederic, 2002. "Regional redistribution and stabilization by the center in Canada, France, the UK and the US:: A reassessment and new tests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 263-286, November.
    12. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Risk Sharing and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 979-1009, October.
    13. Martin Besfamille & Ben Lockwood, 2008. "Bailouts In Federations: Is A Hard Budget Constraint Always Best?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(2), pages 577-593, May.
    14. Horst Raff & John Wilson, 1997. "Income Redistribution with Well-Informed Local Governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 4(4), pages 407-427, November.
    15. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R., 1995. "Fiscal flows in the United States and Canada: Lessons for monetary union in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 253-274, February.
    16. Nobuo Akai & Emilson Silva, 2009. "Interregional redistribution as a cure to the soft budget syndrome in federations," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(1), pages 43-58, February.
    17. David E. Wildasin, 2008. "Disaster Policies," Public Finance Review, , vol. 36(4), pages 497-518, July.
    18. Caplan, Arthur J. & Cornes, Richard C. & Silva, Emilson C. D., 2000. "Pure public goods and income redistribution in a federation with decentralized leadership and imperfect labor mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 265-284, August.
    19. Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1989. "A Fresh Look at the Rotten Kid Theorem--and Other Household Mysteries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1138-1159, October.
    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. Gilberto Turati & Luigi Buzzacchi, 2009. "Optimal risk allocation in the provision of local public services: can a private insurer be better than a public mutual fund?," Working Papers 2009/21, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. Arthur Charpentier & Benoît Le Maux, 2010. "Natural Catastrophe Insurance: When Should the Government Intervene?," Working Papers hal-00536925, HAL.
    3. Heidi Tuhkanen & Michael Boyland & Guoyi Han & Anjalee Patel & Karlee Johnson & Arno Rosemarin & Ladylyn Lim Mangada, 2018. "A Typology Framework for Trade-Offs in Development and Disaster Risk Reduction: A Case Study of Typhoon Haiyan Recovery in Tacloban, Philippines," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(6), pages 1-19, June.
    4. Bofinger, Peter & Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Wieland, Volker, 2018. "Vor wichtigen wirtschaftspolitischen Weichenstellungen. Jahresgutachten 2018/19," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201819.
    5. Wu, Yang-Che, 2020. "Equilibrium in natural catastrophe insurance market under disaster-resistant technologies, financial innovations and government interventions," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 116-128.
    6. Kai A. Konrad & Marcel Thum, 2012. "The Role of Economic Policy in Climate Change Adaptation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3959, CESifo.
    7. Wildasin, David E., 2007. "Pre–Emption: Federal Statutory Intervention in State Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 60(3), pages 649-662, September.
    8. Christos Kotsogiannis & Robert Schwager, 2006. "Fiscal Equalization and Yardstick Competition," Working Papers 2006-15, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    9. Hikaru Ogawa & David E. Wildasin, 2009. "Think Locally, Act Locally: Spillovers, Spillbacks, and Efficient Decentralized Policymaking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1206-1217, September.
    10. Anton Bondarev & Beat Hintermann & Frank C. Krysiak & Ralph Winkler, 2017. "The Intricacy of Adapting to Climate Change: Flood Protection as a Local Public Goods Game," CESifo Working Paper Series 6382, CESifo.
    11. Charpentier, Arthur & Le Maux, Benoît, 2014. "Natural catastrophe insurance: How should the government intervene?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 1-17.
    12. Lohse, Tim & Robledo, Julio R., 2012. "Public self-insurance and the Samaritan's dilemma in a federation," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2012-103, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    13. Luigi Buzzacchi & Gilberto Turati, 2014. "Optimal Risk Allocation in the Provision of Local Public Services: Can a Private Insurer be Better Than a Federal Relief Fund?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 60(4), pages 747-779.
    14. repec:tur:wpaper:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Thushyanthan Baskaran, 2013. "Do bailouts buy votes? Evidence from a panel of Hessian municipalities," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 257-278, August.
    16. Luigi Buzzacchi & Gilberto Turati, 2009. "Collective Risks in Local Administrations: Can a Private Insurer Be Better than a Public Mutual Fund?," Working papers 03, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.
    17. Rodolfo Manuelli, 2017. "Natural Disasters and Growth: The Role of Foreign Aid and Disaster Insurance," 2017 Meeting Papers 1118, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Thushyanthan Baskaran, 2017. "Local fiscal policy after a bailout: austerity or soft budget constraints?," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 209-238, August.
    19. Fox, Justin & Van Weelden, Richard, 2015. "Hoping for the best, unprepared for the worst," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 59-65.
    20. Dannenberg, Astrid & Mennel, Tim & Osberghaus, Daniel & Sturm, Bodo, 2009. "The economics of adaptation to climate change: the case of Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-057, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    21. Timothy J. Goodspeed, 2013. "Decentralization and Natural Disasters," CESifo Working Paper Series 4179, CESifo.
    22. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2014. "Bailouts and austerity," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 212, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    23. Tim Lohse & Julio R. Robledo, 2013. "Public Self-Insurance and the Samaritan’s Dilemma in a Federation," Public Finance Review, , vol. 41(1), pages 92-120, January.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Timothy Goodspeed & Andrew Haughwout, 2012. "On the optimal design of disaster insurance in a federation," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 1-27, March.
    2. Anton Bondarev & Beat Hintermann & Frank C. Krysiak & Ralph Winkler, 2017. "The Intricacy of Adapting to Climate Change: Flood Protection as a Local Public Goods Game," CESifo Working Paper Series 6382, CESifo.
    3. Huber, Bernd & Runkel, Marco, 2008. "Interregional redistribution and budget institutions under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2350-2361, December.
    4. Wallace Oates, 2005. "Toward A Second-Generation Theory of Fiscal Federalism," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(4), pages 349-373, August.
    5. Timothy J. Goodspeed, 2017. "Bailouts and Soft Budget Constraints in Decentralized Government: A Synthesis and Survey of an Alternative View of Intergovernmental Grant Policy," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 221(2), pages 113-134, June.
    6. Breuillé, Marie-Laure & Madiès, Thierry & Taugourdeau, Emmanuelle, 2010. "Gross versus net equalization scheme in a federation with decentralized leadership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 205-214, September.
    7. Ralf Hepp & Jürgen von Hagen, 2012. "Fiscal Federalism in Germany: Stabilization and Redistribution Before and After Unification," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 234-259, April.
    8. Konrad, Kai A. & Seitz, Helmut, 2001. "Fiscal federalism and risk sharing in Germany: the role of size differences [Risikokonsolidierung im Rahmen des deutschen Länderfinanzausgleichs: die Rolle von Größenunterschieden]," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance FS IV 01-20, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    9. Bernd Huber & Marco Runkel, 2005. "Interregional Redistribution and Budget Institutions under Asymmetric Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 1491, CESifo.
    10. Massimo Bordignon & Paolo Manasse & Guido Tabellini, 2001. "Optimal Regional Redistribution under Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 709-723, June.
    11. Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2009. "Nonlinear Income Taxation And Matching Grants In A Federation With Decentralized In-Kind Transfers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 543-575, May.
    12. Martin Besfamille & Jean-Marie Lozachmeur, 2010. "NIMBY and mechanism design under different constitutional constraints," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(2), pages 114-132, April.
    13. Albert Solé Ollé, 2010. "The Determinants of the Regional Allocation of Infrastructure Investment in Spain," Chapters, in: Núria Bosch & Marta Espasa & Albert Solé Ollé (ed.), The Political Economy of Inter-Regional Fiscal Flows, chapter 12, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Boadway, Robin & Tremblay, Jean-François, 2010. "Mobility and Fiscal Imbalance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 63(4), pages 1023-1053, December.
    15. Sanguinetti, Pablo & Tommasi, Mariano, 2004. "Intergovernmental transfers and fiscal behavior insurance versus aggregate discipline," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 149-170, January.
    16. João Ricardo Faria & Emilson Caputo Delfino Silva, 2020. "Leadership delegation in rotten kid families," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(2), pages 441-460, April.
    17. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Violeta Vulovic, 2017. "How well do subnational borrowing regulations work?," Chapters, in: Naoyuki Yoshino & Peter J. Morgan (ed.), Central and Local Government Relations in Asia, chapter 5, pages 161-220, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    18. Reingewertz, Yaniv, 2014. "Fiscal Decentralization - a Survey of the Empirical Literature," MPRA Paper 59889, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Helmuth Cremer & Kerstin Roeder, 2017. "Rotten spouses, family transfers, and public goods," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 141-161, January.
    20. Breuille, Marie-Laure & Gary-Bobo, Robert J., 2007. "Sharing budgetary austerity under free mobility and asymmetric information: An optimal regulation approach to fiscal federalism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1177-1196, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intergovernmental transfers; natural disasters; federalism; risk sharing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis

    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:htr:hcecon:436. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dhcunus.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Jonathan Conning (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dhcunus.html .

    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.