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How Persistent is Social Capital?

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  • Jan Fidrmuc

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Abstract

Formal and informal institutions are often thought of as being highly persistent, with historical events such as conflicts, authoritarian regimes or colonization having a long-lasting effect on their quality. To analyze the persistence of social capital, I look at regions which have experienced large-scale population displacements some 50-60 years ago. As social capital is embedded in relationships, regions that were repopulated by migrants are likely to start off with little inherited social capital. My analysis suggests that, with a lag of approximately two generations, the inhabitants of these regions display similar stocks of social capital as their counterparts in regions unaffected by population transfers. Hence, contrary to the Putnamesque view, much of the present-day social capital appears to have been formed in recent past rather than attributable to long-term historical legacies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University in its series CEDI Discussion Paper Series with number 12-04.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:12-04

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  1. Burchardi, Konrad B. & Hassan, Tarek, 2011. "The Economic Impact of Social Ties: Evidence from German Reunification," CEPR Discussion Papers 8470, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Roland, Gerald, 2010. "The Long-Run Weight of Communism or the Weight of Long-Run History?," Working Paper Series wp2010-83, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  9. Crespo Cuaresma & Hlouskova & Obersteiner, 2008. "Natural Disasters As Creative Destruction? Evidence From Developing Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 214-226, 04.
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