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The Welfare State as Piggy BankInformation, Risk, Uncertainty, and the Role of the State$
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Nicholas Barr

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199246595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199246599.001.0001

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The Market and Information

The Market and Information

(p.11) Chapter 2 The Market and Information
The Welfare State as Piggy Bank

Nicholas Barr (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets out the economic theory of the role of the state that underpins the rest of the book. It starts with a simple model – the Fisher model – of rational consumer choice over the life cycle. Subsequent sections relax the underlying assumptions, discussing in turn imperfect information in the goods market, the economics of insurance, the effect of imperfect information on insurance markets, and social insurance as a response to information failure. The concluding section summarizes the implications for policy, including discussion of market failure and government failure.

Keywords:   economics of insurance, Fisher model, government failure, imperfect information, market failure, role of the state, social insurance

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