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Work norms, social insurance and the allocation of talent

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  • Corneo, Giacomo

Abstract

This paper challenges the view that weak work norms make generous welfare states 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 way for parents to protect their children from the risk of lacking talent. 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Corneo, Giacomo, 2013. "Work norms, social insurance and the allocation of talent," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 79-92.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:107:y:2013:i:c:p:79-92
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.09.002
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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.
    2. Pierre Cahuc & Yann Algan, 2009. "Civic Virtue and Labor Market Institutions," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 111-145, January.
    3. Furtado, Delia & Papps, Kerry L. & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2020. "Who Goes on Disability when Times are Tough? The Role of Work Norms among Immigrants," GLO Discussion Paper Series 590, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Guido Neidhöfer, 2019. "Intergenerational mobility and the rise and fall of inequality: Lessons from Latin America," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(4), pages 499-520, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Work norms; Unemployment insurance; Occupational mobility; Economic growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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