IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/red/sed019/620.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Health Risk, Insurance and Optimal Progressive Income Taxation

Author

Listed:
  • Juergen Jung

    (Towson University)

  • Chung Tran

    (Australian National University)

Abstract

We study the optimal progressivity of personal income taxes in an environment where individuals are exposed to idiosyncratic shocks to health and labor productivity over the lifecycle. Our analysis is based on a large-scale overlapping generations general equilibrium model that is calibrated to the US economy. Our results indicate that the presence of health risk and health insurance has a strong effect on the amount of redistribution and social in- surance provided by progressive income taxes. In an environment with a non-universal health insurance system, such as the US system, the optimal income tax system is highly progressive in order to provide a sufficient level of redistribution to unhealthy low income individuals. The total welfare gain from optimizing the progressivity level is 5.6 percent in compensating lifetime consumption. More inclusive health insurance systems, such as Medicare for all, lead to large decreases in the optimal level of tax progressivity. When health expenditure risk is eliminated, the optimal income tax code becomes more similar to the findings of previous studies that used models without health risk. Our findings highlight the quantitative importance of accounting for the interdependence of health insurance and income taxes when designing optimal income tax policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2019. "Health Risk, Insurance and Optimal Progressive Income Taxation," 2019 Meeting Papers 620, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed019:620
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2019/paper_620.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter Diamond & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 165-190, Fall.
    2. Svetlana Pashchenko & Ponpoje (Poe) Porapakkarm & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2017. "The Lifetime Costs of Bad Health," 2017 Meeting Papers 533, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Alejandro Badel & Mark Huggett & Wenlan Luo, 2020. "Taxing Top Earners: a Human Capital Perspective," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(629), pages 1200-1225.
    4. Capatina, Elena, 2015. "Life-cycle effects of health risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 67-88.
    5. Jung, Juergen & Tran, Chung, 2022. "Social health insurance: A quantitative exploration," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    6. Mark Huggett & Juan Carlos Parra, 2010. "How Well Does the U.S. Social Insurance System Provide Social Insurance?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 76-112, February.
    7. Alisdair McKay & Ricardo Reis, 2021. "Optimal Automatic Stabilizers [Consumption versus Expenditure]," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(5), pages 2375-2406.
    8. Yogo, Motohiro, 2016. "Portfolio choice in retirement: Health risk and the demand for annuities, housing, and risky assets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 17-34.
    9. Gruber, Jonathan & Rodriguez, David, 2007. "How much uncompensated care do doctors provide?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1151-1169, December.
    10. Galama, T. & Hullegie, P. & Meijer, E. & Outcault, S., 2012. "Empirical evidence for decreasing returns to scale in a health capital model," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/05, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    11. Jonathan Gruber & David Rodriguez, 2007. "How Much Uncompensated Care do Doctors Provide?," NBER Working Papers 13585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Titus J. Galama & Patrick Hullegie & Erik Meijer & Sarah Outcault, 2012. "Is There Empirical Evidence For Decreasing Returns To Scale In A Health Capital Model?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(9), pages 1080-1100, September.
    13. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2016. "On the optimal provision of social insurance: Progressive taxation versus education subsidies in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 72-98.
    14. Guner, Nezih & Lopez-Daneri, Martin & Ventura, Gustavo, 2016. "Heterogeneity and Government revenues: Higher taxes at the top?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 69-85.
    15. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    16. Roland Benabou, 2002. "Tax and Education Policy in a Heterogeneous-Agent Economy: What Levels of Redistribution Maximize Growth and Efficiency?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 481-517, March.
    17. Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The human capital model," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 347-408, Elsevier.
    18. Kindermann, Fabian & Krueger, Dirk, 2014. "High marginal tax rates on the top 1%?," CFS Working Paper Series 473, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    19. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2016. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 132-159, April.
    20. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2009. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea after All!," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 25-48, March.
    21. Galama, T. & Hullegie, P. & Meijer, E. & Outcault, S., 2012. "Empirical evidence for decreasing returns to scale in a health capital model," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/05, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    22. Unknown, 1986. "Letters," Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 1(4), pages 1-9.
    23. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2016. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 132-159, April.
    24. Anna Aizer, 2003. "Low Take-Up in Medicaid: Does Outreach Matter and for Whom?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 238-241, May.
    25. Gouveia, Miguel & Strauss, Robert P., 1994. "Effective Federal Individual Tax Functions: An Exploratory Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 47(2), pages 317-339, June.
    26. Michael G. Palumbo, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421.
    27. Stefanie Stantcheva, 2017. "Optimal Taxation and Human Capital Policies over the Life Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(6), pages 1931-1990.
    28. Dahlia K. Remler & Jason E. Rachlin & Sherry A. Glied, 2001. "What can the take-up of other programs teach us about how to improve take-up of health insurance programs?," NBER Working Papers 8185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Office of Health Economics, 2007. "The Economics of Health Care," For School 001490, Office of Health Economics.
    30. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2008. "The Macroeconomics of Health Savings Accounts," CAEPR Working Papers 2007-023, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.
    31. Gouveia, Miguel & Strauss, Robert P., 1994. "Effective Federal Individual Tax Functions: An Exploratory Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(2), pages 317-39, June.
    32. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L., 2008. "Insurance and opportunities: A welfare analysis of labor market risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 501-525, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Health Risk, Insurance and Optimal Progressive Income Taxation
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2019-10-10 19:15:25
    2. Optimal Progressive Income Taxation in a Bewley-Grossman Framework
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2017-04-15 01:55:36

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2018. "Optimal Progressive Income Taxation in a Bewley-Grossman Framework," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2018-662, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    2. Jung, Juergen & Tran, Chung, 2022. "Social health insurance: A quantitative exploration," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    3. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2016. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 132-159, April.
    4. Jung, Juergen & Tran, Chung & Chambers, Matthew, 2017. "Aging and health financing in the U.S.: A general equilibrium analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 428-462.
    5. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2016. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 132-159, April.
    6. Jang, Youngsoo, 2019. "Credit, Default, and Optimal Health Insurance," MPRA Paper 95397, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Reona Hagiwara, 2022. "Welfare Effects of Health Insurance Reform: The Role of Elastic Medical Demand," IMES Discussion Paper Series 22-E-05, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
    8. Patrick Macnamara & Myroslav Pidkuyko & Raffaele Rossi, 2021. "Marginal Tax Rates and Income in the Long Run: Evidence from a Structural Estimation," Economics Discussion Paper Series 2105, Economics, The University of Manchester, revised Jan 2022.
    9. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti & Gomes, Diego B.P., 2017. "Health care reform or more affordable health care?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 126-153.
    10. Patrick Macnamara & Myroslav Pidkuyko & Raffaele Rossi, 2021. "Marginal tax changes with risky investment," Working Papers 2116, Banco de España.
    11. Svetlana Pashchenko & Ponpoje Porapakkarm, 2019. "Reducing Medical Spending of the Publicly Insured: The Case for a Cash-out Option," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 390-426, August.
    12. Svetlana Pashchenko & Ponpoje Porapakkarm, 2013. "Quantitative Analysis of Health Insurance Reform: Separating Regulation from Redistribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 383-404, July.
    13. Titus J. Galama & Hans van Kippersluis, 2013. "Health Inequalities through the Lens of Health Capital Theory: Issues, Solutions, and Future Directions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-076/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    14. Hans A. Holter & Dirk Krueger & Serhiy Stepanchuk, 2019. "How do tax progressivity and household heterogeneity affect Laffer curves?," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(4), pages 1317-1356, November.
    15. Svetlana Pashchenko & Ponpoje Porapakkarm, 2016. "Cross-Subsidization in Employer-Based Health Insurance and the Effects of Tax Subsidy Reform," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 69(3), pages 583-612, September.
    16. Uribe-Terán, Carlos, 2021. "Higher taxes at the top? The role of tax avoidance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    17. Hubert P. Janicki, 2011. "Distributional Effects of Public Health Insurance Reform," 2011 Meeting Papers 423, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Heer, Burkhard & Rohrbacher, Stefan, 2021. "Endogenous longevity and optimal tax progressivity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    19. Daniele Coen‐Pirani, 2021. "Geographic Mobility And Redistribution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(3), pages 921-952, August.
    20. William B. Peterman & Erick Sager, 2022. "Optimal Public Debt with Life Cycle Motives," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 404-437, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed019:620. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Christian Zimmermann (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.