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The Role of Stigma in the Design of Welfare Programs

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  • Tomer Blumkin
  • Yoram Margalioth
  • Efraim Sadka
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    Abstract

    We consider the notion of welfare stigma à la Besley and Coate (1992b). This stigma is attributed to welfare claimants by society when they are perceived as undeserving in the sense that they falsely claim to be eligible for welfare benefits. However, due to imperfect information, this stigma may be extended, with some probability, to all welfare claimants. We examine the implications of this kind of stigma for the design of welfare programs.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-05/cesifo1_wp2305.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2305.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2305

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    Related research

    Keywords: welfare; take up; targeting; inequality; stigma;

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    1. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 960-980, September.
    2. Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-77, May.
    3. Stephen Pudney & Ruth Hancock & Holly Sutherland, 2006. "Simulating the Reform of Means-tested Benefits with Endogenous Take-up and Claim Costs," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(2), pages 135-166, 04.
    4. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Understanding welfare stigma: Taxpayer resentment and statistical discrimination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 165-183, July.
    5. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2011. "Transfer Program Complexity and the Take-Up of Social Benefits," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 54-90, February.
    6. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
    7. Laurence, JACQUET, 2006. "Optimal disability assistance when fraud and stigma matter," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006052, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    8. Yaniv, Gideon, 1997. "Welfare fraud and welfare stigma," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 435-451, June.
    9. Ruth Hancock & Stephen Pudney & Geraldine Barker & Monica Hernandez & Holly Sutherland, 2003. "The take-up of multiple means-tested benefits by British pensioners. Evidence from the Family Resources Survey," Discussion Papers in Economics 03/7, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    10. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1996. "When Do Women Use Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility Versus Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 57-89.
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