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Optimal Social Insurance with Endogenous Health

  • Tobias Laun

    (Stockholm School of Economics)

This paper analyzes optimal insurance against unemployment and disability in a private information economy with endogenous health and search effort. Individuals can reduce the probability of becoming disabled by exerting, so-called, prevention effort, which is costly in terms of utility. A healthy, i.e., not disabled, individual either works or is unemployed. An unemployed individual can exert search effort in order to increase the probability of finding a new job. I show that the optimal sequence of consumption is increasing for a working individual and constant for a disabled individual. During unemployment, decreasing benefits are not necessarily optimal in this setting. The prevention constraint implies increasing benefits over time while the search constraint demands decreasing benefits while being unemployed. However, if individuals respond sufficiently much to search incentives, the latter effect dominates the former and the optimal consumption sequence is decreasing during unemployment.

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File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2012/paper_438.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 438.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:438
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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  1. Nicola Pavoni & G. L. Violante, 2007. "Optimal Welfare-to-Work Programs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 283-318.
  2. Chang, Roberto, 1998. "Credible Monetary Policy in an Infinite Horizon Model: Recursive Approaches," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 431-461, August.
  3. Lisa Jönsson & Mårten Palme & Ingemar Svensson, 2011. "Disability Insurance, Population Health and Employment in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 17054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
  5. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2004. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," NBER Working Papers 10792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Pavoni, Nicola, 2007. "On optimal unemployment compensation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1612-1630, September.
  7. P. A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1977. "A Model of Social Insurance With Variable Retirement," Working papers 210, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Karlström, Anders & Palme, Mårten & Svensson, Ingemar, 2008. "The employment effect of stricter rules for eligibility for DI: Evidence from a natural experiment in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2071-2082, October.
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