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Private support and social securityPrivate support and social security


The issue is addressed whether assistance to persons in need can be left to the ‘family’ and the ‘community’. In that case people depend on their social networks. The support a person receives through a given network of social ties is examined. However, ties are diverse and subject to change. By means of a model of the dynamics of social ties, the conditions for adequate private support are analyzed. The sustainability of private support over time is examined by incorporating the impact on social ties of lending and receiving support. It is shown that support is only an effective alternative in a limited number of situations.

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Received: 2 January 1997 / Accepted: 2 February 1998

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van Dijk, F. Private support and social securityPrivate support and social security. J Popul Econ 11, 345–371 (1998).

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  • Key words: Social security
  • private support
  • social ties
  • JEL classification: A13
  • H41
  • H55