IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/tow/wpaper/2017-01.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Health Risk, Insurance and Optimal Progressive Income Taxation

Author

Listed:
  • Juergen Jung

    () (Department of Economics, Towson University)

  • Chung Tran

    () (Research School of Economics, The Australian National University)

Abstract

We study the optimal progressivity of personal income taxes in a general equilibrium overlapping generations model where individuals are exposed to idiosyncratic shocks to health and labor productivity over the lifecycle. Our results—based on a calibration to the US economy—indicate that the presence of health risk and health insurance has a strong effect on the optimal level of tax progressivity. Given the existing non-universal health insurance system in the US, the optimal income tax system is highly progressive in order to provide a sufficient amount of redistribution and social insurance to unhealthy low income individuals. The total welfare gain from optimizing the progressivity level is 5.6 percent in compensating lifetime consumption. The introduction of more comprehensive health insurance systems, such as Medicare for all, leads to large decreases in the optimal level of tax progressivity. When health expenditure risk is not modeled our framework exhibits an optimal income tax system similar to prior literature that abstracts from health risk. These findings highlight the importance of accounting for the unique characteristics of health and health insurance policies when designing optimal income taxes.

Suggested Citation

  • Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2017. "Health Risk, Insurance and Optimal Progressive Income Taxation," Working Papers 2017-01, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2017-01
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://webapps.towson.edu/cbe/economics/workingpapers/2017-01.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2017
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Svetlana Pashchenko & Ponpoje (Poe) Porapakkarm & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2017. "The Lifetime Costs of Bad Health," 2017 Meeting Papers 533, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Capatina, Elena, 2015. "Life-cycle effects of health risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 67-88.
    3. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2015. "Social Health Insurance: A Quantitative Exploration," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2015-629, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. Ricardo Reis & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Optimal Automatic Stabilizers," 2015 Meeting Papers 608, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Kindermann, Fabian & Krueger, Dirk, 2014. "High marginal tax rates on the top 1%?," CFS Working Paper Series 473, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2015. "Social Health Insurance: A Quantitative Exploration," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2015-629, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    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. Woodland, A., 2016. "Taxation, Pensions, and Demographic Change," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 713-780, Elsevier.
    6. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2015. "Social Health Insurance: A Quantitative Exploration," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2015-629, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    7. Blundell, R. & French, E. & Tetlow, G., 2016. "Retirement Incentives and Labor Supply," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 457-566, Elsevier.
    8. 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.
    9. Harold L. Cole & Soojin Kim & Dirk Krueger, 2012. "Analyzing the Effects of Insuring Health Risks: On the Trade-off between Short Run Insurance Benefits vs. Long Run Incentive Costs," NBER Working Papers 18572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Kevin X. D. Huang & Gregory W. Huffman, 2010. "A Defense of the Current US Tax Treatment of Employer-Provided Medical Insurance," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 1001, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    12. 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.
    13. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Costa, Daniela & Kamali, Parisa & Kehoe, Timothy J. & Nygard, Vegard M. & Raveendranathan, Gajendran & Saxena, Akshar, 2018. "Macroeconomic effects of Medicare," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 11(C), pages 27-40.
    14. Jang, Youngsoo, 2019. "Credit, Default, and Optimal Health Insurance," MPRA Paper 95705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Jang, Youngsoo, 2019. "Credit, Default, and Optimal Health Insurance," MPRA Paper 95397, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. Kuhn, Michael & Frankovic, Ivan & Wrzaczek, Stefan, 2017. "Medical Progress, Demand for Health Care, and Economic Performance," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168249, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Bas Jacobs & Uwe Thuemmel, 2020. "Optimal Linear Income Taxation and Education Subsidies under Skill-Biased Technical Change," CESifo Working Paper Series 8805, CESifo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health and income risks; Inequality; Social insurance; Tax progressivity; Suits index; Optimal taxation; General equilibrium.;
    All these keywords.

    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:tow:wpaper:2017-01. 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: (Juergen Jung). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/detowus.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 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.

    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.