Working Paper No. 557

Raising Children to Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms and Social Insurance

Published: May 2, 2001 Pages: 37Keywords: Work Norms; Social Insurance; AltruismJEL-codes: Z13; D19; D64; H31

Raising Children to Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms and Social Insurance Assar Lindbeck and Sten Nyberg


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.

Assar Lindbeck

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An Agenda for Europe

Institutional Reform for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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The authors of this book, Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula, advise the economies of the European Union to become more entrepreneurial in promoting innovation and economic growth. The authors propose a reform strategy with respect to several aspects to achieve this goal.

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