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Consumption smoothing and liquidity income redistribution


  • Bertola, Giuseppe
  • Koeniger, Winfried


We show theoretically that income redistribution benefits borrowingconstrained individuals more than is implied by standard relative-income and uninsurable-risk considerations. Empirically, we find in international opinion-survey data that younger and lower-income individuals express stronger support for government redistribution in countries where consumer credit is less easily available. This evidence supports our theoretical perspective if such individuals are more strongly affected by tighter credit supply, in that expectations of higher incomes in the future increase their propensity to borrow.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertola, Giuseppe & Koeniger, Winfried, 2006. "Consumption smoothing and liquidity income redistribution," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/34, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200634

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
    2. Roland Benabou & Efe A. Ok, 2001. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: The Poum Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 447-487.
    3. Mayda, Anna Maria & Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1393-1430, August.
    4. Jonas Agell, 2002. "On the Determinants of Labour Market Institutions: Rent Seeking vs. Social Insurance," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(2), pages 107-135, May.
    5. Charles Grant & Winfried Koeniger, 2009. "Redistributive Taxation and Personal Bankruptcy in U.S. States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 445-467, August.
    6. Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 1994. "Saving, Growth, and Liquidity Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 83-109.
    7. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Preferences for redistribution in the land of opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 897-931, June.
    8. Hansen, Gary D & Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The Role of Unemployment Insurance in an Economy with Liquidity Constraints and Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 118-142, February.
    9. Winfried Koeniger, 2004. "Labor Income Risk and Car Insurance in the UK," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 29(1), pages 55-74, June.
    10. Giuseppe Bertola, 2004. "A Pure Theory of Job Security and Labour Income Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 43-61.
    11. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
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    More about this item


    Consumption; Smoothing;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth


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