Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Lund University, Department of Economics

No 2009:17: Endogenous social norms – implications for optimal welfare state programs

Margareta Dackehag ()
Additional contact information
Margareta Dackehag: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: This paper investigates the implications of an endogenous social work norm for the optimal welfare state program. Assuming that individual productivity is observable, the analysis finds that restrictions on program participation, implying a larger benefit to a smaller group of recipients, may be welfare improving. However, the effect of the norm is indeterminate. The disutility of non-compliance suggests a higher benefit; the endogeneity of the norm suggests a lower benefit. Assuming that individual productivity is not observable, the analysis finds that the social norm unambiguously contributes to increased program generosity. However, for sufficiently generous policies, the norm contributes to program retrenchment.

Keywords: Welfare state; Social norm; Welfare analysis

JEL-codes: H11; H23; H53; I38

14 pages, November 6, 2009

Full text files

WP09_17.pdf PDF-file 

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to David Edgerton ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2018-02-06 14:12:32.