nep-ias New Economics Papers
on Insurance Economics
Issue of 2022‒03‒14
twenty-six papers chosen by
Soumitra K. Mallick
Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management

  1. Investor-Driven Corporate Finance: Evidence from Insurance Markets By Christian Kubitza
  2. Aktivitas Pemasaran Produk Asuransi pada PT. Asuransi ASEI Cabang Padang By Siritoitet, Mawar; Hendra, Muhammad; Aziz, Nazaruddin
  3. Who Increases Emergency Department Use? New Insights from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment By Augustine Denteh; Helge Liebert
  4. Non-linear Effects of Market Concentration on the Underwriting Profitability of the Non-life Insurance Sector in Europe By Jan Janku; Ondrej Badura
  5. Recent trends in transport and insurance costs and estimates at disaggregated product level By Guannan Miao; Enrico Wegner
  6. Providing Pandemic Business Interruption Coverage with Double Trigger Cat Bonds. By André Schmitt; Sandrine Spaeter
  7. How (Un-)Informed Are Depositors in a Banking Panic? A Lesson from History By Kristian S. Blickle; Markus K. Brunnermeier; Stephan Luck
  8. Work-Related Overpayment and Benefit Suspension Experiences of Federal Disability Beneficiaries By Marisa Shenk; Gina Livermore
  9. Universal Basic Income: Inspecting the Mechanisms By Jaimovich, Nir; Saporta-Eksten, Itay; Setty, Ofer; Yedid-Levi, Yaniv
  10. The Relationship Between Disability Insurance Receipt and Food Insecurity By Barbara A. Butrica; Stipica Mudrazija; Jonathan Schwabish
  11. Would 401(k) Participants Use a Social Security 'Bridge' Option? By Alicia H. Munnell; Gal Wettstein
  12. The Alignment Between Self-Reported and Administrative Measures of Application to and Receipt of Federal Disability Benefits in the Health and Retirement Study By Jody Schimmel Hyde; Amal Harrati
  13. Do Urgent Care Centers Reduce Medicare Spending? By Janet Currie; Anastasia Karpova; Dan Zeltzer
  14. Are There “Hot Spots†of Primary Impairments among New SSDI Awardees – and Do We Know Why? By Jody Schimmel Hyde; Anna Hill; Jonathan Schwabish; Aaron R. Williams
  15. Changes in New Disability Awards: Understanding Trends and Looking Ahead By Lindsay Jacobs
  16. Understanding the Local-Level Predictors of Disability Program Flows: New Adult Awards and Beneficiary Work Activity By Jody Schimmel Hyde; Jonathan Schwabish; Paul O'Leary; Dara Lee Luca
  17. The Impact of Claimant Representation Fee Schedules on the Disability Applicant Process and Recipient Outcomes By Cody Tuttle; Riley Wilson
  18. The Category of Node-and-Choice Extensive-Form Games By Rory McGee
  19. To Work or Not to Work? Effects of Temporary Public Employment on Future Employment and Benefits By Mörk, Eva; Ottosson, Lillit; Vikman, Ulrika
  20. Opportunity and Inequality across Generations By Koeniger, Winfried; Zanella, Carlo
  21. Does Media Coverage of the Social Security Trust Fund Affect Claiming, Saving, and Benefit Expectations? By Laura D. Quinby; Gal Wettstein
  22. Does Social Security Serve as an Economic Stabilizer? By Laura D. Quinby; Robert Siliciano; Gal Wettstein
  23. Internal and External Effects of Social Distancing in a Pandemic By Maryam Farboodi; Gregor Jarosch; Robert Shimer
  24. Do All State and Local Workers Receive an Annuity in Retirement? By Jean-Pierre Aubry; Kevin Wandrei
  25. What Do We Know About Public Teacher Compensation? By Siyan Liu; Jean-Pierre Aubry
  26. Ländliche Räume in NRW - Räume mit Zukunftsperspektiven. Schwerpunktthema "Daseinsvorsorge": Teil-Positionspapier 4 By Arens, Stephanie; Bradtke, Alexandra; Claßen, Thomas; Danielzyk, Rainer; Droste, Bernd; Harteisen, Ulrich; Jaehrling, Heike; Jochimsen, Kerstin; Grabski-Kieron, Ulrike; Lippert, Pia; Schröteler-von Brandt, Hildegard; Simone Thiesing, Simone; Weidmann, Ralf; Wolf, André

  1. By: Christian Kubitza (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper documents that the bond investments of insurance companies transmit shocks from insurance markets to the real economy. Liquidity windfalls from household insurance purchases increase insurers' demand for corporate bonds. Exploiting the fact that insurers persistently invest in a small subset of firms for identification, I show that these increases in bond demand raise bond prices and lower firms' funding costs. In response, firms issue more bonds, especially when their bond underwriters are well connected with investors. Firms use the proceeds to raise investment rather than equity payouts. The results emphasize the significant impact of investor demand on firms' financing and investment activities.
    Keywords: Corporate Finance, Corporate Bonds, Insurance, Real Effects
    JEL: G12 G22 G24 G32 G34
    Date: 2022–02
  2. By: Siritoitet, Mawar; Hendra, Muhammad; Aziz, Nazaruddin
    Abstract: This study aims to determine how product maketing at PT. Asuransi ASEI branch in increasing the sale of its products. The medhot used in this study uses qualitative data analysis as a research method that explains descriptively about product marketing activities at PT. Insurance ASEI branch Padang.Based on the results of research that has been made at PT. Insurance ASEI branch Padang By Promotion, Place, Evens, and Information about the products contained in the Insurance the Padang branch of ASEI
    Date: 2021–12–20
  3. By: Augustine Denteh (Tulane University); Helge Liebert (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We provide new insights into the finding that Medicaid increased emergency department (ED) use from the Oregon experiment. Using nonparametric causal machine learning methods, we find economically meaningful treatment effect heterogeneity in the impact of Medicaid coverage on ED use. The effect distribution is widely dispersed, with significant positive effects concentrated among high-use individuals. A small group—about 14% of participants—in the right tail with significant increases in ED use drives the overall effect. The remainder of the individualized treatment effects is either indistinguishable from zero or negative. The average treatment effect is not representative of the individualized treatment effect for most people. We identify four priority groups with large and statistically significant increases in ED use—men, prior SNAP participants, adults less than 50 years old, and those with pre-lottery ED use classified as primary care treatable. Our results point to an essential role of intensive margin effects— Medicaid increases utilization among those already accustomed to ED use and who use the emergency department for all types of care. We leverage the heterogeneous effects to estimate optimal assignment rules to prioritize insurance applications in similar expansions.
    Keywords: Medicaid, ED visit, effect heterogeneity, machine learning, efficient policy learning
    JEL: H75 I13 I38
    Date: 2022–01
  4. By: Jan Janku; Ondrej Badura
    Abstract: Recent studies argue that more attention needs to be paid to the insurance sector in analyses of the financial sector, as it may be a significant factor in maintaining overall financial stability. In this paper, we analyze the relationship between market concentration and the underwriting profitability of the non-life insurance sector. We find that an increasing level of concentration over time leads, on average, to an increase in underwriting profitability (as proxied by the loss ratio). At high levels of concentration, however, this effect reverses, with rising concentration reducing underwriting profitability. The convex (U-shaped) nature of this relationship implies that the strongest incentives for collusive behavior arise when concentration is lowest. Additionally, we show that during a period of lower rates, weaker interest returns are offset by stronger underwriting results. However, this effect seems to be conditional on a high level of concentration.
    Keywords: Concentration, insurance sector, loss ratio, low interest rates, underwriting profitability
    JEL: C33 G22 G23
    Date: 2021–12
  5. By: Guannan Miao; Enrico Wegner
    Abstract: This paper updates the OECD International Transport and Insurance Cost (ITIC) of Merchandise Trade database, which covers more than 180 countries and partners, and over 1000 products from 1995 to 2020. Transport and insurance costs, also known as CIF-FOB margins, are estimated using a gravity model. A cross-validation procedure is used to evaluate model performance. In addition to describing the methodology, the paper highlights that transport and insurance costs are declining as a fraction of trade value, but this reduction has been flattening out in more recent years. However, an alternative measure, the explicit CIF-FOB margins per kilogramme imported, suggests that transport and insurance costs have been actually rising since 2002. Both CIF-FOB margins and cost per kilogramme imported show increases in 2020 when compared to 2019. This is robust to corrections for compositional changes. The methodology is used to produce the International Transport and Insurance Costs of Merchandise Trade data base and the data is made publically available on .Stat under the International Trade and Balance of Payments heading.
    JEL: C23 F14 L91
    Date: 2022–02–18
  6. By: André Schmitt; Sandrine Spaeter
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to show whether the insurance and reinsurance sectors supplemented by qualified investors in cat bonds can offer business interruption protection due to a pandemic such as COVID-19 at affordable rates. First, we propose a comprehensive numerical model to show how cat bonds can contribute to complement standard (re)insurance even though risks are positively correlated between different firms or sectors. We present the conditions under which fairer coverage can be provided to insured firms. Second, we discuss the characteristics of the triggers that are needed to provide efficient pandemic business interruption cat bonds (PBI cat bonds), which do not exist yet on the market of insurancelinked securities (ILS). The double trigger pandemic bonds we build are structured on a first trigger which is pulled when the World Health Organization (WHO) declares a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The second trigger determines the payout of the bond based on the modelized business interruption losses of an industry in a country. In this framework, we discuss moral hazard, basis risk, correlation and liquidity issues. Third, to answer the feasibility of our (two-layer) coverage scheme we simulate the life of theoretical PBI bonds at the height of the pandemic. We apply them to the restaurant industry in France and we use data gathered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Keywords: pandemic cat bond, business interruption losses, securitization, (re)insurance.
    JEL: G11 Q54 G22
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Kristian S. Blickle; Markus K. Brunnermeier; Stephan Luck
    Abstract: How informed or uninformed are bank depositors in a banking crisis? Can depositors anticipate which banks will fail? Understanding the behavior of depositors in financial crises is key to evaluating the policy measures, such as deposit insurance, designed to prevent them. But this is difficult in modern settings. The fact that bank runs are rare and deposit insurance universal implies that it is rare to be able to observe how depositors would behave in absence of the policy. Hence, as empiricists, we are lacking the counterfactual of depositor behavior during a run that is undistorted by the policy. In this blog post and the staff report on which it is based, we go back in history and study a bank run that took place in Germany in 1931 in the absence of deposit insurance for insight.
    Keywords: bank runs; deposit insurance; financial crises
    JEL: G2
    Date: 2022–02–17
  8. By: Marisa Shenk; Gina Livermore
    Abstract: This paper examines the work-related overpayment and benefit suspension experiences of recently employed Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries using data from the 2017 National Beneficiary Survey. It documents overpayment and benefit suspension rates and the characteristics of beneficiaries experiencing these events and examines the association between knowledge of Social Security Administration work incentive provisions and beneficiaries’ expectations, benefit suspensions, and overpayments. It also documents reasons that some who achieve benefit suspension discontinue or reduce their work effort and return to receiving benefits. The findings are descriptive and do not attribute causality to the relationships between awareness of program provisions and the overpayment and benefit suspension experiences.
    Date: 2021–11
  9. By: Jaimovich, Nir (University of Zurich); Saporta-Eksten, Itay (Tel Aviv University); Setty, Ofer (Tel Aviv University); Yedid-Levi, Yaniv (Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya)
    Abstract: We consider the aggregate and distributional impact of Universal Basic Income (UBI). We develop a model to study a wide range of UBI programs and financing schemes and to highlight the key mechanisms behind their impact. The most crucial channel is the rise in distortionary taxation (required to fund UBI) on labor force participation. Second in importance is the decline in self-insurance due to the insurance UBI provides, resulting in lower aggregate capital. Third, UBI creates a positive income effect lowering labor force participation. Alternative tax-transfer schemes mitigate the impact on labor force participation and the cost of UBI.
    Keywords: universal basic income, labor force participation, inequality
    JEL: E2 E6 J08
    Date: 2022–02
  10. By: Barbara A. Butrica; Stipica Mudrazija; Jonathan Schwabish
    Abstract: Retiring baby boomers are increasing the demand for Social Security Administration (SSA) services at a time when budget constraints and retiring staff are limiting its capacity to deliver these services. In theory, investing in web-based tools that people can use to serve themselves could help SSA meet the projected increases in demand, even with fewer staff. But, despite investments in tools with significant labor-saving potential, such as online benefit application, usage of these tools has stalled since 2016. This study of online claiming is based on a survey of older individuals who either claimed their Old Age and Survivor (OASI) benefit in the past five years or intend to claim within the next five years. The survey covered: 1) how they submitted (or intend to submit) their benefit application; and 2) how they communicated (or intend to communicate) with SSA during the process.
    Date: 2021–11
  11. By: Alicia H. Munnell; Gal Wettstein
    Abstract: Although annuities would ensure higher levels of lifetime income, reduce the likelihood that people will outlive their resources, and alleviate some of the anxiety associated with post-retirement investing, the market for annuity products is minuscule. Explanations for the low demand include the high cost of private annuities due to adverse selection, a reluctance to hand over a pile of accumulated assets for a stream of future income, and a failure to understand the value of insurance against outliving one's resources. To address these impediments, employers could increase the availability of lifetime income by adopting a Social Security 'bridge' strategy within their 401(k) plans. The bridge option would use 401(k) assets to pay retirees an amount equivalent to their Social Security benefits so they can postpone claiming benefits, thereby increasing their monthly payment when they do eventually claim. This paper gauges workers' potential interest in a bridge option, using an online sample representative of the relevant population, and experimentally tests whether framing the bridge as insurance and making it a default affects the outcome. The results indicate that a substantial minority (up to about one-third) of respondents would use the bridge even though the concept was totally new. The experiment shows that framing increases the share of assets allocated to the bridge strategy and that defaulting workers into the strategy is even more effective. Further, the two treatments both substantially increase projected Social Security benefits. While the opt-out rate of the default is quite high, it likely reflects the ease of doing so within the experiment. The results do suggest that the default allocation to the bridge up to half the participant's assets may be too aggressive and that the opt-out would be lower under a default with a smaller share of assets devoted to the bridge.
    Date: 2021–12
  12. By: Jody Schimmel Hyde; Amal Harrati
    Abstract: This paper examines the alignment between self-reported and administrative records of applications to and receipt of federal disability benefits. It uses data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), specifically the cross-wave consistent version developed by the RAND Corporation. The HRS has surveyed adults over the age of 50 every other year since 1992 to be nationally representative of the non-institutionalized older adult population, replenishing the sample with a new cohort every six years. The HRS asks respondents periodically if they are willing to have their survey information linked to earnings and benefits information maintained by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). Most respondents agree to the linkage, which provides another source of information about application and receipt patterns for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) than the data that is collected from respondents in the survey. This information may be valuable in understanding disability program participation among older workers and the extent to which survey respondents accurately report their benefit receipt. Using information in the HRS linked to SSA's Form 831 records about disability benefit applications and its Disability Analysis File about benefit receipt, the paper compares survey and administrative reports of having ever applied to SSDI and SSI as well as the receipt of those benefits in each HRS survey wave from 1996 through 2016. It presents statistics on the characteristics of HRS respondents based on whether they consented to have their records linked to administrative files as well as whether those who consented to the linkage accurately reported their benefits status. The analyses make comparisons by calendar year and HRS sampling cohort, as well as by each age from 51 through full retirement age. An appendix to the paper offers a primer for other researchers considering using the HRS-SSA linked data.
    Date: 2021–12
  13. By: Janet Currie (Princeton University); Anastasia Karpova (Princeton University); Dan Zeltzer (Tel Aviv University)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of the opening of a new urgent care center (UCC) on health care costs and the utilization of care among nearby Medicare beneficiaries. We focus on 2006–2016, a period of rapid UCC expansion. We find that total Medicare spending rises when residents of a zip code are first served by a UCC, relative to spending in yet-to-be-served zip codes, while mortality remains flat. We explore mechanisms by looking at categories of spending and by examining utilization. Increases in inpatient visits are the largest contributor to the overall increase in spending, rising by 6.65 percent within six years after UCC entry. The number of emergency room visits that result in a hospital admission also increases by 3.7 percent. In contrast, there is no change in the number of ER visits that do not result in admission to hospital, in visits to physicians outside a UCC, or in imaging and tests. Overall, these results provide little evidence that UCCs replace costly ER visits or that they crowd out visits to patients' regular doctors. Instead, the evidence is consistent with the possibility that UCCs—which are increasingly owned by or contract with hospital systems—induce greater spending on hospital care.
    Keywords: Healthcare, Medicare
    JEL: I1 I11
    Date: 2021–07
  14. By: Jody Schimmel Hyde; Anna Hill; Jonathan Schwabish; Aaron R. Williams
    Abstract: This paper examines local-level variation in the primary disabling conditions of new awardees for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) from 2005 through 2018. It uses data from the Social Security Administration’s Disability Analysis File data linked to other publicly available information from the American Community Survey and Area Health Resource File. The analysis is at the level of U.S. Census Bureau Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs). The paper documents the share of awards in each PUMA and year in one of five impairment group categories, selected to align with areas of strong policy interest. In each impairment group, the paper identifies “hot spots†as PUMAs in which the share of awards for that condition is in the top 10 percent relative to other PUMAs in the same year. The paper documents the geographic variation in award shares and hot spots using maps and uses regression analysis to explore relationships between SSDI award shares by impairment group and a range of PUMA-level facto. The findings are descriptive and should not be interpreted causally.
    Date: 2021–12
  15. By: Lindsay Jacobs
    Abstract: This paper examined health, demographic, and disability trends over four birth-year cohorts using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and restricted linked SSA data with the goal of understanding current and future Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) prevalence. The analysis included (1) identifying physical and mental health responses in the HRS most predictive of SSDI receipt and how these responses and the likelihood of SSDI receipt have changed over cohorts; and (2) a decomposition to determine what share of the changes in SSDI receipt can be attributed to differences in the effects of health and other factors over cohorts, while accounting for the changing selection into program coverage. Key aspects to be addressed in future work include analysis of the younger adult population and modeling application timing and behavior, as this work focused instead on ultimate SSDI application approval among older birth-year cohorts.
    Date: 2021–12
  16. By: Jody Schimmel Hyde; Jonathan Schwabish; Paul O'Leary; Dara Lee Luca
    Abstract: This paper examines factors that are associated with area-level benefit awards for Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as well as the work activity of DI and SSI beneficiaries. Although the Social Security Administration (SSA) cannot directly affect state policies or local economic conditions, there is value in understanding the extent to which these policies and conditions might correlate with application rates, benefit receipt, and beneficiary return-to-work rates. We conducted our analysis at the level of Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs), which are geographic units created by the U.S. Census for statistical purposes. PUMAs are within-state geographies that have a population of at least 100,000 people and are large enough to produce statistics on low-occurrence events such as beneficiary suspensions and terminations for work. We aggregated data from the Social Security Administration’s Disability Analysis File, the American Community Survey, and other national sources.
    Date: 2021–12
  17. By: Cody Tuttle; Riley Wilson
    Abstract: Many applicants to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) retain representation to help with the approval process. The Social Security Administration imposes strict rules on representative compensation. Representatives are paid only if claimants are awarded disability, and are paid the lesser of 25 percent of claimant's past due benefits or a pre-specified maximum fee dollar amount ($6,000 since 2009). Because past due benefits are a function of the number of months claimants wait to be awarded, representatives face incentives to delay case resolution until past due benefits push representative fees past the maximum fee threshold. This paper uses difference-in-differences and bunching strategies to evaluate how these incentives impact SSDI applicant wait times. To do this, we use information on claimant characteristics and wait times constructed from the Disability Analysis File Public Use File (DAF PUF). Difference-indifferences estimation show that after changes in the maximum fee threshold, average wait times increase by 0.4-0.7 months among applicants for whom the fee threshold is more binding. We also observe bunching in the wait time distribution around the fee threshold kink in years after the policy change relative to the preceding years. Although both policy changes occur in years associated with economic recessions (2002 and 2009), we provide suggestive evidence that the increase in wait times is not driven by secular economic trends. Key limitations of this paper are data availability issues in the DAF PUF. In the DAF PUF, we are unable to observe who retains representations, so we can only observe the reduced form impacts of representative fee schedules on claimant outcomes. With more complete information on the claimant application and appeal process, we could more effectively probe the types of impacts that representation have on case outcomes and the sensitivity of the results to secular economic trends.
    Date: 2021–09
  18. By: Rory McGee (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: Elderly households hold most of their wealth in housing, maintain high levels of wealth throughout retirement, and often leave bequests. The value of their houses are subject to large shocks. To what extent do these shocks affect their savings, consumption, and bequests? Answering this question requires separating precautionary savings, bequest motives, and the desire to remain in one's home. I develop and estimate a structural model of retirement savings decisions with realistic risks, housing, and heterogeneity in bequest preferences. I exploit policy changes to the taxation of housing and bequests to separately identify the different motives for holding wealth. Estimates show approximately half of retirees have no bequest motive. House price changes are quantitatively important, with 1/4 of increases passed on to future generations. I use the estimated model to evaluate means-tested programs insuring retirees' LTC expenses. I find exemptions providing marginal liquidity have larger insurance value than fully eliminating LTC expense risk per pound it costs the government.
    Keywords: savings; housing, long term care, ageing
    JEL: D1 D12 D14 D15 E21 G5
    Date: 2021
  19. By: Mörk, Eva (Uppsala University); Ottosson, Lillit (Uppsala University); Vikman, Ulrika (IFAU)
    Abstract: We evaluate a temporary public sector employment program targeted at individuals with weak labor market attachment, applying dynamic inverse probability weighting to account for dynamic selection. We show that the program is successful in increasing employment and reducing social assistance. However, being at a regular workplace seems crucial: we find negative employment effects for participants employed at a workplace created especially for the purpose. The decrease in social assistance is to some extent countered by an increase in the share receiving unemployment insurance benefits, indicating that municipalities are able to shift costs from the local to the central budget.
    Keywords: public sector employment programs, social assistance, cost-shifting, dynamic inverse probability weighting
    JEL: H75 I38 J45
    Date: 2022–02
  20. By: Koeniger, Winfried (University of St. Gallen); Zanella, Carlo (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We analyze how intergenerational mobility and inequality would change relative to the status quo if dynasties had access to optimal insurance against low ability of future generations. Based on a dynamic, dynastic Mirrleesian model, we find that insurance against intergenerational ability risk increases in the social optimum relative to the status quo. This implies less intergenerational mobility in terms of welfare but no quantitatively significant change in earnings mobility. Earnings mobility is thus similar across economies with different incentives and welfare, illustrating that changes in earnings mobility cannot be interpreted readily in welfare terms without further analysis.
    Keywords: asymmetric information, intergenerational mobility, inequality, human capital, schooling, bequests
    JEL: E24 H21 I24 J24 J62
    Date: 2022–02
  21. By: Laura D. Quinby; Gal Wettstein
    Abstract: This study explores how workers respond to reports about Social Security’s finances, using an online experiment in which participants are shown identical articles with different headlines. The headline for the control group reports that Social Security has a “long-term financing shortfall,†but does not directly reference the trust fund. The headlines for the three treatment groups highlight the depletion of the trust fund. Two treatment groups saw headlines emphasizing the trust fund’s 2034 reserve depletion date – using increasingly sensationalist language – while a third treatment group saw a headline explaining that ongoing program revenues will cover three-quarters of scheduled benefits after 2034.
    Date: 2021–09
  22. By: Laura D. Quinby; Robert Siliciano; Gal Wettstein
    Abstract: In times of economic distress, both individuals and localities can benefit from stable sources of income. While a large literature documents the benefits that individuals enjoy from guaranteed income such as Social Security, less attention has been given to the stabilizing force of Social Security at the community level. Intuitively, if many people are insulated from recessions through stable Social Security income, they will continue to demand local goods and services, propping up local employment and earnings. This paper uses the American Community Survey to estimate the extent to which Social Security benefits stabilize local economies, by examining how the relationship between a county’s economic outcomes and those of its surrounding counties vary with the share of county income from Social Security.
    Date: 2021–07
  23. By: Maryam Farboodi (MIT); Gregor Jarosch (Princeton University); Robert Shimer (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: We develop a quantitative framework for exploring how individuals trade off the utility benefit of social activity against the internal and external health risks that come with social interactions during a pandemic. We calibrate the model to external targets and then compare its predictions with daily data on social activity, fatalities, and the estimated effective reproduction number R(t) from the COVID-19 pandemic in March-June 2020. While the laissez- faire equilibrium is consistent with much of the decline in social activity that we observed in US data, optimal policy further imposes immediate and highly persistent social distancing. Notably, neither equilibrium nor optimal social distancing is extremely restrictive, in the sense that the effective reproduction number never falls far below 1. The expected cost of COVID-19 in the US is substantial, $12,700 in the laissez-faire equilibrium and $8,100 per person under an optimal policy. Optimal policy generates this large welfare gain by shifting the composition of costs from fatalities to persistent social distancing.
    Keywords: COVID-19, social activity, reproduction number, economic epidemiology, optimal control, externalities
    JEL: D11 D81 I12 I18
    Date: 2021–03
  24. By: Jean-Pierre Aubry; Kevin Wandrei
    Abstract: The conventional wisdom is that all state and local government workers receive a lifetime annuity from their employer pension plan. This brief investigates the extent to which this presumption is correct by examining the payout options offered by state and local plans, including those for the roughly 6.5 million employees who do not participate in Social Security. Since these “noncovered” workers do not earn credit towards a Social Security annuity during their time in government, they need annuitized income from their employer plan more than their covered counterparts. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section describes the most common benefit payout options for major state and local defined benefit (DB) plans and highlights the fact that some plans allow retirees to convert a portion of their annuitized benefit into a lump-sum payout. The second section focuses on state and local workers with defined contribution (DC) plans as their primary retirement plan and highlights the fact that most of these plans offer annuitization as an option but not as a default. The final section concludes that while most state and local workers receive an annuity, a small share do not.
    Date: 2021–08
  25. By: Siyan Liu; Jean-Pierre Aubry
    Abstract: Whether public employees are over- or under-paid relative to their private sector counterparts is a source of lively debate. Much of the research on the relative compensation of public and private workers has focused on teachers – the largest segment of the public workforce. Moreover, the issue of teacher compensation has gained currency since the Great Recession, as states and school districts have frequently faced tough budget decisions to cut benefits or halt pay raises. Teacher compensation has important implications for hiring and retaining high-quality teachers and, consequently, for student academic performance. This brief highlights the range of conclusions by researchers who have assessed teacher compensation and attempts to inform the debate through a comprehensive analysis of compensation. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section explains the difficulties associated with assessing public teacher compensation. The second section highlights the range of conclusions by researchers to date. The third section attempts to shed new light on this topic by more accurately measuring the cost of retirement benefits, carefully accounting for health and retirement plan coverage, and including all other benefits such as Social Security, supplemental pay, and paid leave. The fourth section briefly discusses the implications of teacher compensation on student outcomes. The final section concludes that public teachers earn roughly the same as similar private sector workers but this equality may turn to a deficit over time as new teachers receive lower retirement benefits.
    Date: 2021–10
  26. By: Arens, Stephanie; Bradtke, Alexandra; Claßen, Thomas; Danielzyk, Rainer; Droste, Bernd; Harteisen, Ulrich; Jaehrling, Heike; Jochimsen, Kerstin; Grabski-Kieron, Ulrike; Lippert, Pia; Schröteler-von Brandt, Hildegard; Simone Thiesing, Simone; Weidmann, Ralf; Wolf, André
    Abstract: Dieses Teil-Positionspapier fokussiert das Themenfeld "Daseinsvorsorge". Es steht im Zusammenhang mit den parallel erarbeiteten Positionspapieren der Arbeitsgruppe, die von der ARL-Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft NRW eingerichtet wurde. Seine Aufgabe besteht darin, dazu beizutragen, die Zukunftsperspektiven ländlicher Räume in Nordrhein-Westfalen vorzustellen, Problematiken zu thematisieren und Handlungsempfehlungen zu unterbreiten. Das vorliegende Positionspapier widmet sich explizit den Bereichen "Feuerwehr und Brandschutz" sowie "Gesundheit und Pflege" in den ländlichen Räumen Nordrhein-Westfalens. Beide Bereiche stehen u.a. aufgrund des demographischen Wandels vor großen Herausforderungen, sind jedoch bedeutend für das alltägliche Leben und die Zukunft ländlicher Räume. Die genannten Themenfelder werden in insgesamt fünf Kernforderungen dargelegt und diskutiert. Jeder Kernforderung folgen adressatenorientierte Handlungsempfehlungen. Maßgebende Herausforderungen für beide Bereiche sind u.a. der Fachkräftemangel, Abwanderungen vor allem jüngerer Bevölkerungsgruppen, ein Rückgang an ehrenamtlich Tätigen sowie veraltete Organisationsstrukturen. Die Folgen dieser Entwicklungen bedürfen in ländlichen Räumen sehr unterschiedlicher Handlungsansätze, um die Sicherung der Daseinsvorsorge zu gewährleisten. Vor allem mobile Konzeptionen, die Digitalisierung sowie die Förderung des ehrenamtlichen Engagements sind zentrale Ansatzpunkte. Die Verbindung von Familie und Beruf ist heutzutage ein wichtiger Ansatzpunkt für die Lösung vieler Problemstellungen, sodass u.a. die Rolle der Frau in diesem Zusammenhang erörtert und im Hinblick auf ehrenamtliche Tätigkeiten gefördert werden muss. In Zeiten der Corona-Pandemie bietet vornehmlich die Digitalisierung eine große Chance. Vor allem auf den oberen Ebenen bedarf es verschiedener Interventionen, um den Gemeinden bei Problemen der Daseinsvorsorge in den Bereichen "Feuerwehr und Brandschutz" sowie "Gesundheit und Pflege" behilflich zu sein.
    Keywords: Brandschutz,Daseinsvorsorge,Digitalisierung,Feuerwehr,Gesundheit,ländliche Räume,Pflege,Fire protection,services of general interest,digitalization,fire department,rural areas,health care
    Date: 2022

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