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Stigma and the take-up of social programs

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  • Ewoudou, Jacques
  • Tsimpo, Clarence
  • Wodon, Quentin

Abstract

Empirical studies send mixed messages as to the magnitude of social stigma associated with the take-up of social transfers and the impact of stigma on take-up. These mixed signals may be related to the fact that stigma and program participation are likely to be jointly determined. If there is a high (low) degree of participation in a program, stigma is likely to be lower (higher) due at least in part to that high (low) degree of participation. This is because the more eligible persons participate, the less one can single out specific individuals for stigma because they use the program. This note suggests this theoretically with a simple model showing that we may have in an idealized setting two equilibria: one with stigma and zero participation in a social program, and one with perfect participation and no stigma.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4962.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4962

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Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Access to Finance; Regional Governance; Urban Governance and Management;

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References

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  1. Breunig & R. & Dasgupta, I., 1999. "Are People Ashamed of Paying with Food Stamps?," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics 1999-382, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
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  3. Arik Levinson and Sjamsu Rahardja, 2004. "Medicaid Stigma," Working Papers, Georgetown University, Department of Economics gueconwpa~04-04-06, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
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  6. Pudney, Stephen & Monica Hernandez & Ruth Hancock, 2003. "The Welfare Cost of Means-Testing: Pensioner Participation in Income Support," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003, Royal Economic Society 171, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Echenique, Federico & Edlin, Aaron, 2004. "Mixed equilibria are unstable in games of strategic complements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 61-79, September.
  8. Riphahn, Regina T, 2001. "Rational Poverty or Poor Rationality? The Take-Up Study of Social Assistance Benefits," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(3), pages 379-98, September.
  9. P. Diamond, 1980. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 268, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Hilke Almut Kayser & Joachim R. Frick, 2000. "Take It or Leave It: (Non-) Take-up Behavior of Social Assistance in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 210, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Currie, Janet, 2004. "The Take-Up of Social Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 1103, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-35, December.
  13. Jennifer Stuber & Karl Kronebusch, 2004. "Stigma and other determinants of participation in TANF and Medicaid," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 509-530.
  14. Monica Hernandez & Stephen Pudney & Ruth Hancock, 2006. "The Welfare Cost of Means Testing: Pensioner Participation in Income," Working Papers, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics 2006004, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2006.
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Cited by:
  1. Bolle, Friedel & Liepmann, Hannah & Vogel, Claudia, 2012. "How much social insurance do you want? An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1170-1181.

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