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Social Norms and Moral Hazard

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  • Dufwenberg, Martin
  • Lundholm, Michael

Abstract

We examine the impact of social rewards in an unemployment insurance context. A social norm requires effort in proportion to perceived talent, but individuals cunningly choose effort so as to manipulate the perception of their talent. The model predicts that low talented individuals increase effort in response to more generous unemployment insurance. The welfare consequences of the social rewards are ambiguous. Social rewards boost effort, but for individuals with low talent more than any real economic concern can justify. Moreover, the distribution of social respect is slanted in favour of the more talented.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 111 (2001)
Issue (Month): 473 (July)
Pages: 506-25

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:111:y:2001:i:473:p:506-25

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  1. Fershtman, C. & Weiss, Y., 1991. "Social Status , Culture and Economic Performance," Papers 32-91, Tel Aviv.
  2. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  3. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  4. Gottfries, N. & McCormick, B., 1993. "Discrimination and open unemployment in a segmented labour market," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9320, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  5. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jšrgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms And Economic Incentives In The Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35, February.
  6. repec:fth:iniesr:476 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Fershtman, Chaim & Weiss, Yoram, 1998. "Social rewards, externalities and stable preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 53-73, October.
  8. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1990. "Understanding Welfare Stigma: Taxpayer Resentment And Statistical Discrimination," Papers 42, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  9. Dutta, Prajit K. & Radner, Roy, 1994. "Moral hazard," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 26, pages 869-903 Elsevier.
  10. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  11. Arnott, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1991. "Moral Hazard and Nonmarket Institutions: Dysfunctional Crowding Out or Peer Monitoring?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 179-90, March.
  12. Shavell, Steven, 1979. "On Moral Hazard and Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 541-62, November.
  13. Ehrlich, Isaac & Becker, Gary S, 1972. "Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 623-48, July-Aug..
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