Engineering an incentive to search for work: A comparison groups approach

Oded Stark*, Marcin Jakubek, Martyna Kobus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social comparisons are important in the employment sphere. A "culture of unemployment" may evolve and prevail because it is optimal for an individual to remain unemployed when other unemployed individuals constitute his main reference group. We advance the idea that by making the receipt of unemployment benefits conditional on engagement in an incentive-enhancing activity (for example, work under state-sponsored employment schemes or participation in work-site-based training programs), a government can engineer a revision of the reference groups of an unemployed individual in order to induce him to seek work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalEconomics Letters
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • D04
  • D69
  • H53
  • J22
  • J64
  • J65
  • Relative deprivation
  • Social comparisons
  • Unemployment benefits


Dive into the research topics of 'Engineering an incentive to search for work: A comparison groups approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this