On the Optimal Design of Disaster Insurance in a Federation
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.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065|
Web page: http://econ.hunter.cuny.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 623-46, May.
- 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.
- David E. Wildasin, 2008. "Disaster Policies," Public Finance Review, , vol. 36(4), pages 497-518, July.
- Bordignon, Massimo & Manasse, Paolo & Tabellini, Guido, 1996.
"Optimal Regional Redistribution Under Asymmetric Information,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1437, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- 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.
- Massimo Bordignon & Paolo Manasse & Guido Tabellini, . "Optimal Regional Redistribution Under Asymmetric Information," Working Papers 93, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Timothy Goodspeed, 2002. "Bailouts in a Federation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 409-421, August.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R, 1994. "Fiscal Flows in the United States and Canada: Lessons for Monetary Union in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1057, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Lockwood, Ben, 1997.
9703, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
- Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1986.
"The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
402, UCLA Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1986. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," Working Papers 650, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- 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, 05.
- Nobuo Akai & Emilson Silva, 2009. "Interregional redistribution as a cure to the soft budget syndrome in federations," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 43-58, February.
- Becker, Gary S, 1974.
"A Theory of Social Interactions,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
- 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 1138-59, October.
- Thomas A. Garrett & Russell S. Sobel, 2003.
"The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments,"
Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 496-509, July.
- Horst Raff & John Wilson, 1997. "Income Redistribution with Well-Informed Local Governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 407-427, November.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
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: (Jonathan Conning)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.