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Social Capital And The Reproduction Of Inequality In Socially Polarized Economies

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  • Mogues, Tewodaj
  • Carter, Michael R.

Abstract

This paper explores the idea that how wealth is distributed across social groups (ethnic or language groups, gender, etc.) fundamentally affects the evolution of economic inequality. By providing microfoundations suitable for this exploration, this paper hopes to enhance our understanding of when social forces contribute to the reproduction of economic inequality, and what the relevant policy implications might be. In tackling this issue, this paper offers contributions in two domains. First, it adds a dimension to the literature on social capital. Second, it offers a modest generalization of the concepts of identity, alienation and economic polarization used by Esteban and Ray (1994). This generalization permits us to consider the multiple characteristics that shape social identity, inclusion and exclusion. It also underwrites a higher-order measure of socio-economic polarization that permits us to explore the hypothesis of Frances Stewart and others that economic inequality is most pernicious and persistent when it is socially embedded. Among other things we are able to show that holding constant the initial levels of economic polarization and inequality, increases in socio-economic polarization deepen the reproduction of economic inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO with number 20132.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea04:20132

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Keywords: Institutional and Behavioral Economics;

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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-90, May.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & García-Peñalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Scholarly Articles 12502063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 1999. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," NBER Working Papers 7155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
  5. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-51, July.
  6. Durlauf,S.N., 1999. "The case "against" social capital," Working papers 29, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. Fafchamps, Marcel & Minten, Bart, 1998. "Relationships and traders in Madagascar," MTID discussion papers 24, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
  9. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
  10. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
  11. Steven N. Durlauf & Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Social Capital," NBER Working Papers 10485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699 Elsevier.
  12. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  13. Howard Bodenhorn & Christopher S. Ruebeck, 2003. "The Economics of Identity and the Endogeneity of Race," NBER Working Papers 9962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Birdsall, Nancy & Londono, Juan Luis, 1997. "Asset Inequality Matters: An Assessment of the World Bank's Approach to Poverty Reduction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 32-37, May.
  15. Benoit, Jean-Pierre & Krishna, Vijay, 1985. "Finitely Repeated Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(4), pages 905-22, July.
  16. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Gustafson, Cole R., 2004. "Value Of Social Capital To Mid-Sized Northern Plains Farms," Statistical Series Reports 23677, North Dakota State University, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
  2. Michael Carter & Peter Little & Tewodaj Mogues & Workneh Negatu, 2005. "Shocks, Sensitivity and Resilience: Tracking the Economic Impacts of Environmental Disaster on Assets in Ethiopia and Honduras," Development and Comp Systems 0511029, EconWPA.
  3. Fafchamps, Marcel & Gubert, Flore, 2007. "The formation of risk sharing networks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 326-350, July.
  4. Michael Carter & Christopher Barrett, 2006. "The economics of poverty traps and persistent poverty: An asset-based approach," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 178-199.
  5. Nathan Fiala, 2012. "The Economic Consequences of Forced Displacement," HiCN Working Papers 137, Households in Conflict Network.

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