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Social Protection as an Automatic Stabilizer

Author

Listed:
  • Dolls, Mathias

    () (University of Cologne)

  • Fuest, Clemens

    () (University of Oxford)

  • Peichl, Andreas

    () (IZA)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effectiveness of social protection systems in Europe and the US to provide (income) insurance against macro level shocks in terms of automatic stabilizers. We find that automatic stabilizers absorb 38% of a proportional income shock and 47% of an idiosyncratic unemployment shock in Europe, compared to 32% and 34% in the US. There is large heterogeneity within Europe with stabilization being much lower in Eastern and Southern than in Central and Northern Europe. Our results suggest that social transfers, in particular the rather generous systems of unemployment insurance in Europe, play a key role for the stabilization of disposable incomes and explain a large part of the difference in automatic stabilizers between Europe and the US.

Suggested Citation

  • Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2010. "Social Protection as an Automatic Stabilizer," IZA Policy Papers 18, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izapps:pp18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "The Aftermath of Financial Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 466-472, May.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 1065-1188, November.
    3. Paul van den Noord, 2000. "The Size and Role of Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers in the 1990s and Beyond," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 230, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. AILINCA, Alina Georgeta, 2014. "Automatic Social Stabilizers What They Are And How They Function," Studii Financiare (Financial Studies), Centre of Financial and Monetary Research "Victor Slavescu", vol. 18(3), pages 45-57.
    2. Khan, Haider A., 2011. "Human development and capabilities in MENA economies with special emphasis on Egypt," MPRA Paper 39381, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Gerba, Eddie & Schelkle, Waltraud, 2013. "The finance-welfare state nexus," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 56397, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    automatic stabilization; economic crisis; taxes and benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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