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Raising Children to Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms and Social Insurance

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  • Assar Lindbeck
  • Sten Nyberg

Abstract

Children who can count on support from altruistic parents may not try hard to succeed in the labor market. Moreover, parental altruism makes withdrawal of such support non-credible. To promote work effort, parents may want to instill norms which later cause their children to experience guilt or shame associated with failure to support themselves. While social insurance pools risk across families, we show that it also creates a free-rider problem among parents in terms of norm formation. We also examine the formation of norms requiring children to support their parents financially in old age.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 498.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_498

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Keywords: Work norms; social insurance; altruism;

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  1. Lindbeck, A., 1994. "Welfare State Disincentives with Endogenous Habits and Norms," Papers 589, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Stutzer, Alois & Lalive, Rafael, 2001. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  4. Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1986. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," Working Papers 650, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau, 1996. "Bequests as a heir "discipline device"," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 405-414.
  6. Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1989. "A Fresh Look at the Rotten Kid Theorem--and Other Household Mysteries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1138-59, October.
  7. 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.
  8. Kandori, Michihiro, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80, January.
  9. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1045-76, December.
  10. Hauk, Esther & Sáez-Martí, María, 2001. "On the Cultural Transmission of Corruption," Working Paper Series 564, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  11. Wilhelm, M.O., 1990. "Bequest Behavior And The Effect Of Heirs' Earnings: Testing The Altruistic Model Of Bequests," Papers 9-90-12, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  12. H. Cremer & P. Pestieau, 1998. "Delaying Inter Vivos Transmissions Under Asymmetric Information," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 322-330, October.
  13. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W, 1986. " Intergenerational Aspects of Public Transfers, Borrowing and Debt," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 239-67.
  14. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W, 1988. "Altruism and Time Consistency: The Economics of Fait Accompli," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1165-82, December.
  15. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1993. "An Economist's Perspective on the Evolution of Norms," Working papers 9323, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  16. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "On the Cultural Transmission of Preferences for Social Status," DELTA Working Papers 97-04, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  17. Vega-Redondo Fernando, 1993. "Competition and Culture in an Evolutionary Process of Equilibrium Selection: A Simple Example," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 618-631, October.
  18. Lindbeck, Assar, 1995. "Welfare State Disincentives with Endogenous Habits and Norms," Working Paper Series 441, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  19. Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 385-409, June.
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