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Assessing Welfare Accounts

Author

Listed:
  • Fölster, Stefan

    () (Confederation of Swedish Enterprise)

  • Gidehag, Robert

    () (affiliation not available)

  • Orszag, Mike

    () (Towers Watson)

  • Snower, Dennis J.

    () (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

Abstract

The paper examines the possible effects of introducing a large-scale welfare reform in Sweden, namely, the introduction of comprehensive welfare accounts. Under this policy, individuals make mandatory contributions to accounts, which they can top up with voluntary contributions. In return, individuals’ welfare benefits are paid from their accounts. The paper uses a large panel of individual income data to examine how the adoption of universal welfare accounts may affect economic activity. We find that this policy could be designed so as to reduce social insurance expenditure considerably, improve the incentives to work and save, all with relatively small redistributive impact.

Suggested Citation

  • Fölster, Stefan & Gidehag, Robert & Orszag, Mike & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "Assessing Welfare Accounts," IZA Discussion Papers 533, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp533
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martin Feldstein & Daniel Altman, 2007. "Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 21, pages 35-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Orszag, Mike & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "From Unemployment Benefits to Unemployment Accounts," IZA Discussion Papers 532, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. A. Lans Bovenberg & Peter Birch Sørensen, 2004. "Improving the Equity-Efficiency Trade-Off: Mandatory Savings Accounts for Social Insurance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(4), pages 507-529, August.
    2. A. Lans Bovenberg & Peter Birch Sørensen, "undated". "Optimal Taxation and Social Insurance in a Lifetime Perspective," EPRU Working Paper Series 06-01, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    3. Kugler, Adriana D., 2005. "Wage-shifting effects of severance payments savings accounts in Colombia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 487-500, February.
    4. Ruud de Mooij, 2004. "Towards efficient unemployment insurance in the Netherlands," CPB Memorandum 100, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    5. A. Bovenberg, 2005. "Balancing Work and Family Life during the Life Course," De Economist, Springer, vol. 153(4), pages 399-423, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    welfare state benefits; welfare reform; welfare accounts; social insurance; taxes;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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