Behavioral Economics and Perverse Effects of the Welfare State
AbstractCritics often argue that government poverty programs perversely make the poor worse off by encouraging unemployment, out-of-wedlock births, and other 'social pathologies.' However, basic microeconomic theory tells us that you cannot make an agent worse off by expanding his choice set. The current paper argues that familiar findings in behavioral economics can be used to resolve this paradox. Insofar as the standard rational actor model is wrong, additional choices can make agents worse off. More importantly, existing empirical evidence suggests that the poor deviate from the rational actor model to an unusually large degree. The paper then considers the policy implications of our alternative perspective. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.
Volume (Year): 60 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0023-5962
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Funk, Matt, 2007. "On the Problem of Dependent People: hyperbolic discounting in Atlantic Canadian island jurisdictions," MPRA Paper 14522, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Funk, Matt, 2008. "On the Problem of the Island of Earth: Introducing a Universal Theory of Value in an Open Letter to The President of the United States," MPRA Paper 14489, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Pelikan, Pavel, 2008. "The government economic agenda in a society of unequally rational individuals," MPRA Paper 19127, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 Dec 2009.
- Funk, Matt, 2008. "On the Problem of Vague Terms: A Glossary of Clearly Stated Assumptions & Careful, Patient, Descriptions," MPRA Paper 14505, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Berg, Nathan & Kim, Jeong-Yoo, 2010. "Demand for Self Control: A model of Consumer Response to Programs and Products that Moderate Consumption," MPRA Paper 26593, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Christian Schubert, 2012. "Opportunity and Preference Learning," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-08, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
- Funk, Matt, 2008. "On the Problem of Sustainable Economic Development: A Theoretical Solution to this Prisoner's Dilemma," MPRA Paper 19025, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 08 Jun 2008.
- Laibson, David, 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.