Journal article

Welfare Receipt and the Intergenerational Transmission of Work-Welfare Norms

JD Barón, DA Cobb-Clark, N Erkal

Southern Economic Journal | Wiley | Published : 2015


This article investigates the role of welfare receipt in shaping norms regarding work and welfare using unique Australian data from the Youth in Focus Project. We begin by incorporating welfare into a theoretical model of the transmission of work-welfare norms across generations. Consistent with the predictions of this model, we find evidence that youths' attitudes toward work and welfare may be influenced by socialization within their families. Young people are more likely to oppose generous social benefits and to believe that social inequality stems from individual characteristics if (i) their mothers support these views; (ii) their mothers were employed while they were growing up; and (ii..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Jeff Borland, John Creedy, David Ribar, Konstantinos Tatsiramos, Arthur van Soest, and participants at the 2007 Labour Econometrics Workshop (LEW) as well as at seminars at the University of Melbourne, the University of Copenhagen, Maastricht University, Universitat Regensburg, Universitat Erlangen-Nuremberg, Tilburg University, University of Zurich and IZA for many valuable comments and suggestions. The data used for this research come from the Youth in Focus Project which is jointly funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, and the Australian Research Council (Grant Number LP0347164). The Youth in Focus Project is carried out by the Australian National University.