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The Welfare State in EuropeEconomic and Social Perspectives$
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Pierre Pestieau and Mathieu Lefebvre

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198817055

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198817055.001.0001

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Social versus Private Insurance

Social versus Private Insurance

(p.105) 9 Social versus Private Insurance
The Welfare State in Europe

Pierre Pestieau

Mathieu Lefebvre

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the role of the public versus the private sector in the provision of insurance against social risks. After having discussed the evolution of the role of the family as support in the first place, the specificity of social insurance is emphasized in opposition to private insurance. Figures show the extent of spending on both private and public insurance and the chapter presents economic reasons to why the latter is more developed than the former. Issues related to moral hazard and adverse selection are addressed. The chapter also discusses somewhat more general arguments supporting social insurance such as population ageing, unemployment, fiscal competition and social dumping.

Keywords:   adverse selection, commitment, in kind transfers, moral hazard, targeting, self-insurance, workfare

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