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Social capital, government expenditures, and growth

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Abstract

We present a tractable stochastic endogenous growth model that explains how social capital influences economic development. In our model, social capital increases citizens' awareness of government activity. Hence, it alleviates the electoral incentives to under- invest in education, whose returns are delayed and less visible to voters. In equilibrium, higher social capital raises the average output growth rate and reduces its volatility by increasing public investment in education while making its returns higher and less variable. Our theory also predicts that a more unequal distribution of social capital reduces public education expenditures. We provide suggestive cross-country evidence consistent with these predictions.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1307.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision: Jul 2014
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1307

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Social Capital; Education Expenditures; Economic Growth; Elections; Government Expenditures; Imperfect Information;

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," NBER Working Papers 10835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Ponzetto, Giacomo AM, 2011. "Heterogeneous Information and Trade Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 8726, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2007. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil’s Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 2836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  7. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The political economy of government responsiveness: theory and evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Barro, Robert J., 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogeneous Growth," Scholarly Articles 3451296, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Tommaso Nannicini & Andrea Stella & Guido Tabellini & Ugo Troiano, 2013. "Social Capital and Political Accountability," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 222-50, May.
  10. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Gino Gancia, 2012. "Uncertainty, Electoral Incentives and Political Myopia," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 915.12, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).

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