Stigma and the Take-Up of Social Programs

18 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

Date Written: June 1, 2009


Empirical studies send mixed messages as to the magnitude of social stigma associated with the take-up of social transfers and the impact of stigma on take-up. These mixed signals may be related to the fact that stigma and program participation are likely to be jointly determined. If there is a high (low) degree of participation in a program, stigma is likely to be lower (higher) due at least in part to that high (low) degree of participation. This is because the more eligible persons participate, the less one can single out specific individuals for stigma because they use the program. This note suggests this theoretically with a simple model showing that we may have in an idealized setting two equilibria: one with stigma and zero participation in a social program, and one with perfect participation and no stigma.

Keywords: Economic Theory & Research, Access to Finance, Regional Governance, Urban Governance and Management

Suggested Citation

Ewoudou, Jacques and Tsimpo, Clarence and Wodon, Quentin T., Stigma and the Take-Up of Social Programs (June 1, 2009). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol. , pp. -, 2009. Available at SSRN:

Jacques Ewoudou (Contact Author)

University of Montreal ( email )

C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-Ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7

Clarence Tsimpo

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Quentin T. Wodon

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-1446 (Phone)
202-522-0054 (Fax)

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