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Work norms, social insurance and the allocation of talent

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  • Corneo, Giacomo
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    Abstract

    This paper challanges the view that weak work norms in generous welfare states makes them economically unsustainable. I develop a dynamic model of family-transmitted values that has a laissez-faire equilibrium with strong work norms coexisting with a social-insurance equilibrium with weak work norms. While the former has better incentives, the latter induces more intergenerational occupational mobility which improves the allocation of talent and fuels growth. Strong work norms arise as a defensive strategy of parents that aims at perpetuating their occupation along family lines. I present evidence from microdata showing that generous social insurance correlates with high intergenerational occupational mobility and that more mobile individuals endorse weaker work norms. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2013/12.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201312

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    Keywords: work norms; unemployment insurance; occupational mobility; economic growth.;

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    1. Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2004. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," Papers 08-15-2005a, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
    2. Miles Corak & Patrizio Piraino, 2011. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Employers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 37-68, 01.
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    4. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2007. "A theory of tolerance," Discussion Papers 2007/13, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    5. Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2009. "Unemployment insurance and cultural transmission: theory and application to European unemployment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28605, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    7. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2010. "Symbolic values, occupational choice, and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 237-251, February.
    8. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten, 2001. "Raising Children To Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms And Social Insurance," Seminar Papers 691, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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    14. 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.
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    16. Lindbeck, A, 1996. "Incentives and Social Norms in Household Behavior," Papers 622, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
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    18. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2002. "Ability Sorting and the Returns to College Major," Working Papers 02-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    19. Cervellati, Matteo & Vanin, Paolo, 2013. ""Thou Shalt Not Covet ...": Prohibitions, Temptation and Moral Values," IZA Discussion Papers 7334, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Hans Peter Gruner & Giacomo Corneo, 2000. "Social Limits to Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1491-1507, December.
    21. Bingley, Paul & Corak, Miles & Westergård-Nielsen, Niels C., 2011. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Employers in Canada and Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 5593, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:
    1. Corneo, Giacomo, 2013. "Work norms, social insurance and the allocation of talent," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 79-92.

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