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The Role of Stigma in the Design of Welfare Programs

Author

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  • Tomer Blumkin
  • Yoram Margalioth
  • Efraim Sadka

Abstract

We consider the notion of welfare stigma à la Besley and Coate (1992b). This stigma is attributed to welfare claimants by society when they are perceived as undeserving in the sense that they falsely claim to be eligible for welfare benefits. However, due to imperfect information, this stigma may be extended, with some probability, to all welfare claimants. We examine the implications of this kind of stigma for the design of welfare programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomer Blumkin & Yoram Margalioth & Efraim Sadka, 2008. "The Role of Stigma in the Design of Welfare Programs," CESifo Working Paper Series 2305, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2305
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2305.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ruth Hancock & Stephen Pudney & Geraldine Barker & Monica Hernandez & Holly Sutherland, 2004. "The Take-Up of Multiple Means-Tested Benefits by British Pensioners: Evidence from the Family Resources Survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(3), pages 279-303, September.
    2. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    3. Laurence, JACQUET, 2006. "Optimal disability assistance when fraud and stigma matter," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006052, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    4. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 960-980, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2011. "Transfer Program Complexity and the Take-Up of Social Benefits," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 54-90, February.
    7. Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-377, May.
    8. Stephen Pudney & Ruth Hancock & Holly Sutherland, 2006. "Simulating the Reform of Means-tested Benefits with Endogenous Take-up and Claim Costs," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(2), pages 135-166, April.
    9. Yaniv, Gideon, 1997. "Welfare fraud and welfare stigma," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 435-451, June.
    10. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1996. "When Do Women Use Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility Versus Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 57-89.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sell Friedrich L., 2011. "Scham- und Schuldgefühl: Zur ökonomischen Bedeutung zweier kulturell motivierter Emotionen / Shame and Guilt: On the economic meaning of two emotions gained with culture," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 62(1), pages 387-404, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    welfare; take up; targeting; inequality; stigma;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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