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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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Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 00-15.

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Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:00-15
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  1. Dewatripont, M. & Maskin, E., 1990. "Contract renegotiation in models of asymmetric information," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 311-321, May.
  2. Andersson, Fredrik & Konrad, Kai A., 2001. "Globalization and Human Capital Formation," CEPR Discussion Papers 2657, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Robin W. Boadway & Michael Keen, 1993. "Evasion and Time Consistency in the Taxation of Capital Income," Working Papers 890, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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  6. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  7. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "Moral Hazard and Renegotiation in Agency Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1279-1319, November.
  8. Akerlof, George A, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-75, June.
  9. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1996. "Social insurance, incentives and risk taking," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 259-280, July.
  10. 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 171-89, May.
  11. 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).
  12. 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 473-91, June.
  13. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopoly, Non-linear Pricing and Imperfect Information: The Insurance Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 407-30, October.
  14. 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.
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