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Social Capital vs Institutions in the Growth Process

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Author Info

  • Ahlerup, Pelle

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Olsson, Ola

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Yanagizawa, David

    ()
    (Stockholm University)

Abstract

Is social capital always important for economic growth? A number of recent micro studies suggest that interpersonal trust and social capital will have its greatest impact on economic performance when court institutions are relatively weak. The conventional wisdom from macro studies, however, is that social capital is unconditionally good for growth. On the basis of the micro evidence, we outline an investment game between a producer and a lender in an incomplete-contracts setting. A key insight is that social capital will have the greatest e¤ect on the total surplus from the game at lower levels of institutional strength and that the effect of social capital vanishes when institutions are very strong. When we bring this prediction to an empirical cross-country growth regression, it is shown that the marginal effect of social capital (in the form of inter- personal trust) decreases with institutional strength. Our results imply that a one standard deviation rise in social capital in weakly institutionalized Nigeria should increase economic growth by 1.8 percentage points, whereas the same increase in social capital only increases growth by 0.3 percentage points in strongly institutionalized Canada.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/3140
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 248.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 09 Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0248

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Keywords: social capital; institutions; growth; investment;

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References

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2002. "Fractionalization," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1959, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    • Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio, 2002. "Fractionalization," Research Papers 1744, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    • Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," NBER Working Papers 9411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  3. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  4. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Asia," NBER Working Papers 5470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. " States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-69, December.
  6. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  7. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Afandi, Elvin & Kermani, Majid, 2012. "The Relationship between Trust and a Firm’s Access to Financing: Evidence from Transitional Countries," MPRA Paper 46998, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Christian Bjørnskov & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2012. "Trust as the missing root of institutions, education, and development," Working Papers CEB 12-031, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Sytske Groenewald & Erwin Bulte, 2013. "Trust and livelihood adaptation: evidence from rural Mexico," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 41-55, March.
  4. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Effect of social capital on income redistribution preferences: comparison of neighborhood externality between high- and low-income households," MPRA Paper 36181, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Lindner, Ines & Strulik, Holger, 2011. "From Tradition to Modernity: Economic Growth in a Small World," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-478, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  6. Shu Yu & Jakob de Haan & Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, 2011. "Trade, Trust and Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 3571, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Semih Akçomak & Hanna Müller-Zick, 2013. "Trust and Innovation in Europe: Causal, spatial and non-linear forces," STPS Working Papers 1304, STPS - Science and Technology Policy Studies Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Dec 2013.
  8. Bjornskov, Christian & Bogetic, Zeljko & Hillman, Arye & Popovic, Milenko, 2014. "Trust and Identity in a Small, Post-Socialist, Post-Crisis Society," EconStor Preprints 95968, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
  9. P. Dorian Owen & Stephen Knowles, 2008. "Which Institutions are Good for Your Health? The Deep Determinants of Comparative Cross-country Health Status," Working Papers 0811, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2008.
  10. Horváth, Roman, 2013. "Does trust promote growth?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 777-788.
  11. Wahl, Fabian, 2012. "Why it matters what people think: Beliefs, legal origins and the deep roots of trust," FZID Discussion Papers 52-2012, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  12. Ines Lindner & Holger Strulik, 2012. "From Tradition to Modernity: Economic Growth in a Small World," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-035/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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