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Welfare stigma with decreasing employability


  • Dalit Contini
  • Matteo Richiardi


We analyze the effects of income support on unemployment and welfare dynamics when stigma is attached to welfare provision. Stigma has been modeled in the literature as a cost of welfare participation; in this paper we analyze the effect of income support on unemployment and welfare dynamics by assuming that welfare stigma also leads to progressive loss of employability. Unemployment and welfare participation are studied under the cross-sectional and dynamic perspectives. While traditional models predict lower unemployment rates with welfare stigma, in our model unemployment rates follow a non-monotonic pattern: as a consequence, in addition to reducing take-up rates, welfare stigma may also contribute to increase unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Dalit Contini & Matteo Richiardi, 2009. "Welfare stigma with decreasing employability," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 90, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wplabo:90

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix, 1997. "Welfare Benefits, Minimum Wage Rate and the Duration of Welfare Spells: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Canada," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-25, CIRANO.
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    4. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2000. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1019-1055.
    5. O'Neill, June A & Bassi, Laurie J & Wolf, Douglas A, 1987. "The Duration of Welfare Spells," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 241-248, May.
    6. Blundell, Richard & Fry, Vanessa & Walker, Ian, 1987. "Modelling the Take-up of Means-tested Benefits: the Case of Housing Benefits in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(390), pages 58-74, Supplemen.
    7. Yaniv, Gideon, 1997. "Welfare fraud and welfare stigma," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 435-451, June.
    8. Virginia Hernanz & Franck Malherbet & Michele Pellizzari, 2004. "Take-Up of Welfare Benefits in OECD Countries: A Review of the Evidence," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 17, OECD Publishing.
    9. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2005. "Civic attitudes and the Design of Labor Market Institutions? Which Countries can Implement the Danish Flexicurity Model?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 0517, CEPREMAP.
    10. Nickell, Stephen, 1998. "Unemployment: Questions and Some Answers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 802-816, May.
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