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Cultural Transmission of Work-Welfare Attitudes and the Intergenerational Correlation in Welfare Receipt

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  • Barón, Juan D.

    () (World Bank)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    () (University of Sydney)

  • Erkal, Nisvan

    () (University of Melbourne)

Abstract

This paper considers the potential for the cultural transmission of attitudes toward work, welfare, and individual responsibility to explain the intergenerational correlation in welfare receipt. Specifically, we investigate whether 18-year olds' views about social benefits and the drivers of social inequality depend on their families' welfare histories. We begin by incorporating welfare receipt into a theoretical model of the cultural transmission of work-welfare attitudes across generations. Consistent with the predictions of our model, we find that young people's attitudes towards work and welfare are shaped by socialization within their families. Young people are more likely to oppose generous social benefits and adopt an internal view of social inequality if their mothers support these views, if their mothers were employed while they were growing up, and if their families never received welfare. These results are consistent with ? though do not definitively establish ? the existence of an intergenerational welfare culture.

Suggested Citation

  • Barón, Juan D. & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Erkal, Nisvan, 2008. "Cultural Transmission of Work-Welfare Attitudes and the Intergenerational Correlation in Welfare Receipt," IZA Discussion Papers 3904, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3904
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "The Racial Test Score Gap and Parental Involvement in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 2613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," Post-Print halshs-00754788, HAL.
    2. David W. Johnston & Stefanie Schurer & Michael A. Shields, 2014. "Maternal gender role attitudes, human capital investment, and labour supply of sons and daughters," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 631-659.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    attitudes; intergenerational welfare receipt; cultural transmission;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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