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"Tough Love": implications for redistributive policy

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  • Jason L. Saving

Abstract

Jason Saving explores the economic and political implications of "tough love" for redistributive policy. The American welfare system unquestionably helps support the least fortunate among us, but, in making poverty less onerous, it may discourage employment among some individuals. Traditional notions of altruism assume that compassion for the poor is measured by one's willingness to redistribute income but to the extent that more generous support for the poor actually encourages recipiency, welfare programs simultaneously mitigate and exacerbate the problem of poverty. A "new altruistic" approach that incorporates tough love would reduce the number of poor people but could only do so by worsening the living standards of those who remain in poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason L. Saving, 1997. ""Tough Love": implications for redistributive policy," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q III, pages 25-29.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1997:i:qiii:p:25-29
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    File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/er/1997/er9703c.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Pauly, Mark V., 1973. "Income redistribution as a local public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 35-58, February.
    6. Lester C. Thurow, 1971. "The Income Distribution as a Pure Public Good," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(2), pages 327-336.
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    8. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-774, September.
    9. Henderson, J Vernon, 1985. "The Tiebout Model: Bring Back the Entrepreneurs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 248-264, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karl Widerquist, 1999. "Reciprocity and the Guaranteed Income," Politics & Society, , vol. 27(3), pages 387-402, September.
    2. Berthold, Norbert & Thode, Eric, 2000. "Umverteilung in der Mittelschicht: notwendiges Übel im Kampf gegen Armut?," Discussion Paper Series 34, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.

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