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Social image concerns and welfare take-up

Jana Friedrichsen (), Tobias König and Renke Schmacker ()

Journal of Public Economics, 2018, vol. 168, issue C, 174-192

Abstract: Using a laboratory experiment, we present first evidence that social image concerns causally reduce the take-up of an individually beneficial transfer. Our design manipulates the informativeness of the take-up decision by varying whether transfer eligibility is based on ability or luck, and how the transfer is financed. We find that subjects avoid the inference both of being low-skilled (ability stigma) and of being willing to live off others (free-rider stigma). Using a placebo treatment, we exclude other explanations for the observed stigma effects. Although stigma reduces take-up, elicitation of political preferences reveals that only a minority of “taxpayers” vote for the public transfer.

Keywords: Stigma; Signaling; Redistribution; Non-take-up; Welfare program (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D03 H31 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Working Paper: Social Image Concerns and Welfare Take-Up (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Social Image Concerns and Welfare Take-Up (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Social image concerns and welfare take-up (2018) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:168:y:2018:i:c:p:174-192

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.10.008

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