Working Paper No. 840

A Continuous Theory of Income Insurance

Published: June 8, 2010Pages: 44Keywords: Moral hazard; Disability insurance; Sick pay; Work absence; Social normsJEL-codes: G22; H53; I38; J21
Published version

A Continuous Theory of Income Insurance Assar Lindbeck and Mats Persson


In this paper we treat an individual’s health as a continuous variable, in contrast to the traditional literature on income insurance, where it is regularly treated as a binary variable. This is not a minor technical matter; in fact, a continuous treatment of an individual’s health sheds new light on the role and functioning of income insurance and makes it possible to capture a number of real-world phenomena that are not easily captured in binary models. In particular, moral hazard is not regarded as outright fraud, but as a gradual adjustment of the willingness to go to work when income insurance is available. Further, the model can easily encompass phenomena such as administrative rejection of claims and the role of social norms. It also gives a rich view of the desirability of insurance in the first place.

Assar Lindbeck

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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