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Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State

Author

Listed:
  • Assar Lindbeck
  • Sten Nyberg
  • Jörgen W. Weibull

Abstract

This paper analyzes the interplay between social norms and economic incentives in the context of work decisions in the modem welfare state. We assume that to live off one's own work is a social norm, and that the larger the population share adhering to this norm, the more intensely it is felt by the individual. Individuals face two choices: one economic, whether to work or live off public transfers; and one political, how large the transfer should be. The size of the transfer and the intensity of the social norm are determined endogenously in equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:1:p:1-35.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/003355399555936
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-1035, December.
    2. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
    3. Sundén, David & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "A Note on Social Norms and Transfers," Working Paper Series 478, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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