Social Norms, the Welfare State, and Voting
AbstractThis paper analyzes the interplay between economic incentives and social norms in a public finance context. We assume that to live off one's own work is a social norm, and that the larger the population fraction adhering to this norm, the more intensely it is felt by the individual. It is shown that this may give rise to multiple equilibria and to non-linearities that do not arise from economic incentives alone. In the model, individuals also vote on taxes and transfers. Hence, the social norm influences both their economic and political behavior. We show that monotone and continuous changes in external factors may result in non-monotone, and even discontinuous, changes in the political equilibrium.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 453.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Apr 1996
Date of revision:
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WELFARE STATE; ETHICS;
Other versions of this item:
- Lindbeck, A & Nyberg, S & Weibull, J-W, 1996. "Social Norms, the Welfare State, and Voting," Papers 608, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms, the Welfare State, and Voting," Seminar Papers 608, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- D69 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Other
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- Lindbeck, Assar, 1995.
" Welfare State Disincentives with Endogenous Habits and Norms,"
Scandinavian Journal of Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 477-94, December.
- Lindbeck, A., 1994. "Welfare State Disincentives with Endogenous Habits and Norms," Papers 589, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
- Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
- George A. Akerlof, 1978.
"A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence,"
Special Studies Papers
118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Akerlof, George A, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-75, June.
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