Working Paper No. 659

A Model of Income Insurance and Social Norms

Published: January 25, 2006Pages: 34Keywords: Moral Hazard; Sick Pay Insurance; Labor Supply; Asymmetric Information JEL-codes: G22; H53; I38; J21

A Model of Income Insurance and Social Norms Assar Lindbeck and Mats Persson


A large literature on ex ante moral hazard in income insurance emphasizes that the individual can affect the probability of an income loss by choice of lifestyle and hence, the degree of risk-taking. The much smaller literature on moral hazard ex post mainly analyzes how a “moral hazard constraint” can make the individual abstain from fraud (“mimicking”). The present paper instead presents a model of moral hazard ex post without a moral hazard constraint; the individual's ability and willing­ness to work is represented by a continuous stochastic variable in the utility function, and the extent of moral hazard depends on the generosity of the insurance system. Our model is also well suited for analyzing social norms concerning work and benefit dependency.

Assar Lindbeck

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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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