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Social Norms and Welfare State Dynamics

  • Assar Lindbeck

    (Institute for International Economic Studies Stockholm University,)

  • Sten Nyberg

    (Stockholm University,)

  • Jörgen W. Weibull

    (Boston University,)

The paper analyses the interaction between economic incentives and work norms in the context of social insurance. If the work norm is endogenous in the sense that it is weaker when the population share of beneficiaries is higher, then voters will choose less generous benefits than otherwise. We also discuss welfare-state dynamics when there is a time lag in the adjustment of the norm in response to changes in this population share, and show how a temporary shift in the unemployment rate may cause persistence in the number of beneficiaries. (JEL: Z13, D19, D64, H31) Copyright (c) 2003 The European Economic Association.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 1 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04/05)
Pages: 533-542

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:1:y:2003:i:2-3:p:533-542
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  1. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Understanding welfare stigma: Taxpayer resentment and statistical discrimination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 165-183, July.
  2. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Reciprocity, Self-Interest and the Welfare State," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 26, pages 33-53.
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