NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Government Relief for Risk Associated with Government Action

Louis Kaplow

NBER Working Paper No. 3006 (Also Reprint No. r1768)
Issued in June 1989
NBER Program(s):   PE

A significant source of risk arises from uncertainty concerning future government policy. Government action - - tax reform, deregulation, judicial decisions, budgetary shifts - - produces gains and losses for those who invested under preexisting rules. The effects of government relief - - compensation, grandfathering, phase-ins - - on ex ante incentives and risk bearing are examined in a model in which private insurance is taken into account. It is demonstrated that government relief is inefficient, even when private insurance is subject to moral hazard, because relief shields individuals from some of the effects of their actions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3006

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