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Do we need to worry if people bowl alone? Results from a field experiment with voluntary association members

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  • Giacomo Degli Antoni

    ()
    (University of Parma, Department of Law)

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    Abstract

    Trust in strangers is key for economic development. Social capital theory posits that participation in associations is essential to propagate trust in society, because membership instils trust both towards other members and generalised others. We provide an experimental test for this thesis. We measure members' trust and trustworthiness when interacting with fellow members or with people from the general population, who are not association members. We find that members trust and reward trust more than non- members, and do not discriminate between members and the general population. However, we find no correlation between the intensity of associational participation and increased pro-sociality.Length: 17

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Econometica in its series Econometica Working Papers with number wp51.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:ent:wpaper:wp51

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    Web page: http://www.econometica.it
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    Keywords: trust; voluntary associations; ingroup favouritism; field experiment;

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    1. Fabio Sabatini & Francesca Modena & Ermanno Tortia, 2012. "Do cooperative enterprises create social trust?," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2012_10, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    2. 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.
    3. Giacomo Degli Antoni & Gianluca Grimalda, 2013. "Optimistic expectations or other-regarding preferences? Analysing the determinants of trust among association members," Working Papers 2013/21, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
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