- Consumption smoothing and liquidity income redistribution (2006)
- 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. JEL Classification: E21
- Hidden insurance in a moral hazard economy (2013)
- We consider an economy where individuals privately choose effort and trade competitively priced securities that pay off with effort-determined probability. We show that if insurance against a negative shock is sufficiently incomplete, then standard functional form restrictions ensure that individual objective functions are optimized by an effort and insurance combination that is unique and satisfies first- and second-order conditions. Modeling insurance incompleteness in terms of costly production of private insurance services, we characterize the constrained inefficiency arising in general equilibrium from competitive pricing of nonexclusive financial contracts.
- Human capital and optimal redistribution (2014)
- We characterize optimal redistribution in a dynastic family model with human capital. We show how a government can improve the trade-off between equality and incentives by changing the amount of observable human capital. We provide an intuitive decomposition for the wedge between human-capital investment in the laissez faire and the social optimum. This wedge differs from the wedge for bequests because human capital carries risk: its returns depend on the non-diversi able risk of children's ability. Thus, human capital investment is encouraged more than bequests in the social optimum if human capital is a bad hedge for consumption risk.