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Externalities of social capital : the role of values, norms and networks

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  • Butter, Frank A.G. den

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)

  • Mosch, Robert H.J.

Abstract

The economic perspective on values and norms shows that they may bring about externalities for the society as a whole. This possibility of market failure provides a good reason for the government to follow closely the developments in values and norms, and the resulting behaviour in communities and networks. It justifies the initiative of Prime Minister Balkenende to organise the debate on these matters in the Netherlands (and, under the Dutch EU-presidency, in Europe). Networks can be associated both with positive (Putnam type) and with negative (Olson type) externalities. This paper discusses the various influences of values, norms and networks on socio-economic welfare and provides empirical evidence on these relationships. The focus of our own empirical analysis is on the Netherlands. Trust as part of social capital, and the role that values, norms and networks play as co-ordination mechanism, form important aspects both in the theoretical and in the empirical analysis. It appears that there has been no obvious decrease in these aspects of social capital in the Netherlands. It contrasts the findings of Putnam for the US.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0010.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:vuarem:2004-10

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Web page: http://www.feweb.vu.nl

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Keywords: social capital; values and norms; trust; networks; market failure;

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  1. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  2. Knack, Stephen, 2003. " Groups, Growth and Trust: Cross-Country Evidence on the Olson and Putnam Hypotheses," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(3-4), pages 341-55, December.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
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  5. Lars Calmfors, 1993. "Centralisation of Wage Bargaining and Macroeconomic Performance: A Survey," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 131, OECD Publishing.
  6. Beugelsdijk, S., 2003. "Culture and Economic Development in Europe," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-117459, Tilburg University.
  7. Heckelman, Jac C, 2000. " Consistent Estimates of the Impact of Special Interest Groups on Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(3-4), pages 319-27, September.
  8. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
  10. Woolcock, Michael & Narayan, Deepa, 2000. "Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research, and Policy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 225-49, August.
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