Re: Fix unemployment

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 07 Sep 1998 11:33:50 -0700

Greg B. writes:
>> 5) Bad luck - if your industry/career gets less in demand, you may have to
>> accept being less in demand. Insurance can mitigate this loss.
>Insurance is the solution. How it's implemented is of course another whole
>set of questions. Monolithic state-supported unemployment insurance tends to
>be inflexible and a poor tool for creating the kind of loss-history/premium
>feedback that is essential for effective operation of insurance mechanisms.
>An extropian approach would be to encourage wherever possible the creation and
>implementation of a diverse marketplace of private unemployment insurance.

I think that securitizing fractions of future wage income offers a great potential for flexible wage insurance. If I can sell some of my future wages in trade for some of yours, or in trade for corporate stock, I'm less at risk from variations in my future wages. Of course you would probably want to guarentee that you held some minimal fraction of those assets, so buyers could be assured you'd have incentives to work.

Robin Hanson RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884 140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614