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Renegotiation of Social Contracts by Majority Rule


  • Dan Anderberg
  • Carlo Perroni


We consider renegotiation of social earnings insurance arrangements by majority voting in an economy where ex-ante identical individuals make unobservable private investments in education. We show that voting-based renegotiation can result in a higher expected level of investment in comparison to the case where social insurance is determined by an appointed social planner. We also find that, with voting-based renegotiation, the availability of costly ex-post information about private investment can help overcome commitment problems. These findings call into question the practice of using a representative-consumer approach when modelling dynamic policy problems in large economies.

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  • Dan Anderberg & Carlo Perroni, "undated". "Renegotiation of Social Contracts by Majority Rule," EPRU Working Paper Series 00-15, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:00-15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Panu Poutvaara, 2002. "Investment in Education and Redistributive Taxation without Precommitment," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(2), pages 177-177, May.
    2. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1996. "Social insurance, incentives and risk taking," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(3), pages 259-280, July.
    3. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
    4. Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1997. "Time Consistent Taxation by a Government with Redistributive Goals," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 282-305, February.
    5. Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 1998. "Evasion and Time Consistency in the Taxation of Capital Income," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 461-476, May.
    6. Konrad, Kai A., 1999. "Privacy, time consistent optimal labor income taxation and education policy," IZA Discussion Papers 82, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Andersson, Frederik & Konrad, Kai A., 2001. "Globalization and human capital formation
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    8. Dewatripont, M. & Maskin, E., 1990. "Contract renegotiation in models of asymmetric information," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 311-321, May.
    9. Boadway, Robin & Marceau, Nicolas & Marchand, Maurice, 1996. "Investment in Education and the Time Inconsistency of Redistributive Tax Policy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 171-189, May.
    10. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "Moral Hazard and Renegotiation in Agency Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1279-1319, November.
    11. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1977. "Monopoly, Non-linear Pricing and Imperfect Information: The Insurance Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 407-430.
    12. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    13. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
    14. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
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    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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