Show Less

# The Economics of Social Protection

## Lars Söderström

This book focuses on arrangements for redistributing consumption opportunities over the life cycle and for providing compensation for income losses or large expenditures due to reasons such as illness and unemployment. After extensive coverage of the nature of inequalities in income and wealth in a market economy, and various notions of social justice, the author discusses public and private transfers in cash or in kind related to old age, childhood, illness and the like. Importantly, the book takes into account both equity and efficiency aspects.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

# Chapter 7: Income Security

## Extract

We now take a closer look at the risk of losing one’s income before retirement, either temporarily or permanently, the most common reasons being illness and unemployment. We begin with some general comments on income insurance and then turn to unemployment insurance, sickness insurance, and disability insurance. INSURANCE: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND Income security is a classical topic in the economics of insurance. Modern utility theory started with Daniel Bernoulli’s claim, in 1738, that an individual’s utility from income, u(Y), is increasing but at a decreasing rate, uЈ(Y)Ͼ 0, uЉ(Y)Ͻ0. He used this postulate to explain the demand for insurance in a model where individuals were supposed to maximize expected utility, Eu(Y). This approach was advanced in 1944 when John von Neumann and Oscar Morgenstern developed a method to measure utility as a function of income/wealth. This was done in the following way: 1. 2. 3. Deﬁne a relevant interval for income/wealth. Assign particular values to the endpoints of the interval, for example u(Y min)ϭ0 and u(Y max)ϭ50. In order to evaluate an intermediate point, say Y ϭY*, ask the individual whether he or she prefers this income with certainty to a lottery with the outcome Ymax with probability ␲, and the outcome Ymin with probability (1 Ϫ ␲). Let ␲ vary and ﬁnd out at which value of the probability, ␲*, the individual is indiﬀerent between the lottery and the certain income Y*. The expected utility theorem implies that u(Y *)ϭ␲*u(Y max)ϩ(1...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

### Further information

or login to access all content.