Trust and Social Collateral
AbstractThis paper builds a theory of trust based on informal contract enforcement in social networks. In our model, network connections between individuals can be used as social collateral to secure informal borrowing. We define network-based trust as the highest amount one agent can borrow from another agent, and derive a reduced-form expression for this quantity which we then use in three applications. (1) We predict that dense networks generate bonding social capital that allows transacting valuable assets, while loose networks create bridging social capital that improves access to cheap favors like information. (2) For job recommendation networks, we show that strong ties between employers and trusted recommenders reduce asymmetric information about the quality of job candidates. (3) Using data from Peru, we show empirically that network-based trust predicts informal borrowing, and we structurally estimate and test our model.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3051620.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Quarterly Journal of Economics
Other versions of this item:
- Markus Mobius & Adam Szeidl, 2007. "Trust and Social Collateral," NBER Working Papers 13126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Karlan, Dean & Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya & Szeidl, Adam, 2009. "Trust and Social Collateral," Staff General Research Papers 13026, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
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