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Abstract

According to skew selection theory, working citizens who build wealth and, at the same time, share portions of their wealth with those in need are more likely to survive economic downturns than citizens who hoard wealth. In this article, skew selection is employed as a theoreticalframework to support governmental efforts to develop social policies that protect the income of working citizens and, at the same time, provide for vulnerable, non-working children and elders. To illustrate its applicability, the social policies of Japan, Sweden and the United States-all of which are challenged by decaying ratios of working to non-working citizens-are compared through the lens of skew selection. Policy recommendations are discussed.

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