Research Papers in Economics, Department of Economics, Stockholm University
Assar Lindbeck and Sten Nyberg
Raising Children to Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms and Social Insurance
Abstract: Children who can count on support from altruistic parents
may not try hard to succeed in the labor market. Moreover, parental
altruism makes withdrawal of such support non-credible. To promote work
effort, parents may want to instill norms which later cause their children
to experience guilt or shame associated with failure to support themselves.
While social insurance pools risk across families, we show that it also
creates a free-rider problem among parents in terms of norm formation. We
also examine the formation of norms requiring children to support their
parents financially in old age.
Keywords: Work norms; social insurance; altruism; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D19; D64; H31; Z13; (follow links to similar papers)
37 pages, May 2, 2001
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