IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Gerechtigkeitsprobleme im Wohlfahrtsstaat: Besteuerung, wohlfahrtsstaatliche Transfers und die Gerechtigkeit des eigenen Erwerbseinkommens


  • Stefan Liebig
  • Jürgen Schupp


The article discusses the conflict of goals between fair compensation for performance and equitable support based on need in modern welfare states, which is a subject of controversy in various disciplines. It answers the question of the extent to which this policy problem of modern welfare states, which is an issue at the macrosocial level, also creates individual perceptions of problems of equity. Based on survey results of a theory-driven supplemental survey of the longitudinal study of the German Socio-economic Panel (SOEP), it was investigated how employed persons evaluated their income with respect to the fairness of earnings and what effect welfare state interventions have. An important result of the analyses is the high proportion of persons who considered their earned income to be fair. Only a quarter of those employed in Germany consider their remuneration to be unfair. Thus it appears that the normative conflict of goals between fair compensation for performance and equitable support based on need described in the literature for the macrosocial level does not really exist at the individual level, as the article discusses theoretically with reference to new multidisciplinary work and also demonstrates empirically. An unexpected result of the analyses is that transfer payments by the government cannot compensate for perceptions of unfairness with regard to individual income; openly recognizable transfer payments may be seen as discriminatory.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Liebig & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "Gerechtigkeitsprobleme im Wohlfahrtsstaat: Besteuerung, wohlfahrtsstaatliche Transfers und die Gerechtigkeit des eigenen Erwerbseinkommens," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 17, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp17

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-1278, December.
    2. Jennifer Hunt, 2000. "Why Do People Still Live in East Germany?," NBER Working Papers 7564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jennifer Hunt, 2004. "Are migrants more skilled than non-migrants? Repeat, return, and same-employer migrants," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 830-849, November.
    4. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    5. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1989. "The Importance of Local Fiscal Conditions in Analyzing Local Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1208-1231, October.
    6. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
    7. Greenwood, Michael J. & Hunt, Gary L., 1989. "Jobs versus amenities in the analysis of metropolitan migration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 1-16, January.
    8. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Bach, 2014. ""Reichensteuer"-Diskussion: Hintergrund und Perspektiven," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 16, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Sterner, Cornelia, 2010. "Ein bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen in Form der negativen Einkommensteuer: Eine soziologische und finanzwissenschaftliche Analyse
      [An unconditional basic income in the form of the negative income ta
      ," MPRA Paper 39703, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2012.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. SOEP based publications


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp17. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.