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Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation

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  • Knack, Stephen
  • Keefer, Philip

Abstract

This paper presents evidence that 'social capital' matters for measurable economic performance, using indicators of trust and civic norms from the World Values Survey for a sample of twenty-nine market economies. Membership in formal groups--Putnam's measure of social capital--is not associated with trust or with improved economic performance. The authors find trust and civic norms are stronger in nations with higher and more equal incomes, with institutions that restrain predatory actions of chief executives, and with better-educated and ethnically homogeneous populations. Copyright 1997, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 112 (1997)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1251-88

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1251-88

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00335533

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  1. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-30, May.
  2. Gordon Bergsten, 1985. "On the role of social norms in a market economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 113-137, January.
  3. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52, January.
  4. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Do Borders Matter for Social Capital? Economic Growth and Civic Culture in U.S. States and Canadian Provinces," NBER Working Papers 5863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Asia," NBER Working Papers 5470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Berg, Andrew & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1988. "The debt crisis structural explanations of country performance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 271-306, November.
  7. Timothy Besley, 1995. "Nonmarket Institutions for Credit and Risk Sharing in Low-Income Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 115-127, Summer.
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