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Trust as societal capital: economic growth in European regions

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  • Wim Moesen

    ()

  • Tom Van Puyenbroeck
  • Laurens Cherchye

    ()

Abstract

The neo-institutional approach to economic phenomena has forwarded the institutional framework within a society as a fundamental determinant of economic performance. Cultural characteristics, also referred to as "societal capital", have gained specific attention in this respect. Basically, a culture that is characterised by trust is increasingly considered as a competitive advantage. This paper fits in this neo-institutional perspective. We outline an integrated conceptual framework that articulates the direct and indirect channels through which a culture may influence the economic record. Confining to economic growth as an indicator of economic performance and using data from the European Value Study, we subsequently investigate empirically the link between cultural values and economic performance, hereby focusing on a European sample that includes regions as units of observation. This empirical evidence indeed seems to confirm the trust-growth hypothesis. Building on this result, we finally consider a number of possible policy implications. We hereby envisage the government as the main designer of the formal institutional framework within which economic agents interact. In addition, we emphasise the government’s exemplary role as a visible emanation of societal values.

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File URL: http://www.econ.kuleuven.ac.be/ew/academic/econover/Papers/DPS0001.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics in its series Public Economics Working Paper Series with number ces0001.

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Length: 24 pp.
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpe:papers:ces0001

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  1. Damien NEVEN & Claudine GOUYETTE, 1993. "Regional Convergence in the European Comunity," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9311, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  2. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Raffaele Paci, 1997. "More similar and less equal: Economic growth in the European regions," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 133(4), pages 609-634, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Internal Organization of Government," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
  6. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Akcomak, Semih & Ter Weel, Bas, 2007. "How do social capital and government support affect innovation and growth? Evidence from the EU regional support programmes," MERIT Working Papers 009, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Soogwan Doh & Connie McNeely, 2012. "A multi-dimensional perspective on social capital and economic development: an exploratory analysis," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 821-843, December.
  3. Akçomak, I. Semih & ter Weel, Bas, 2009. "Social capital, innovation and growth: Evidence from Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 544-567, July.

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