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"Tough Love": implications for redistributive policy

  • Jason L. Saving

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.

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File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/er/1997/er9703c.pdf
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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its journal Economic and Financial Policy Review.

Volume (Year): (1997)
Issue (Month): Q III ()
Pages: 25-29

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1997:i:qiii:p:25-29
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  1. Brown, Charles C. & Oates, Wallace E., 1987. "Assistance to the poor in a federal system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 307-330, April.
  2. Pauly, Mark V., 1973. "Income redistribution as a local public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 35-58, February.
  3. Stigler, George J, 1970. "Director's Law of Public Income Redistribution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-10, April.
  4. Hoyt William H., 1993. "Tax Competition, Nash Equilibria, and Residential Mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 358-379, November.
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  6. Peltzman, Sam, 1992. "Voters as Fiscal Conservatives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 327-61, May.
  7. Robert Inman, 1978. "Testing political economy’s ‘as if’ proposition: is the median income voter really decisive?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 45-65, December.
  8. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
  9. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  10. Sonstelie, Jon C. & Portney, Paul R., 1978. "Profit maximizing communities and the theory of local public expenditure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 263-277, April.
  11. Henderson, J Vernon, 1985. "The Tiebout Model: Bring Back the Entrepreneurs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 248-64, April.
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