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Institutional Arrangements and the Creation of Social Capital: The Effects of Public School Choice

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  • Schneider, Mark
  • Teske, Paul
  • Marschall, Melissa
  • Mintrom, Michael
  • Roch, Christine

Abstract

While the possible decline in the level of social capital in the United States has received considerable attention by scholars such as Putnam and Fukuyama, less attention has been paid to the local activities of citizens that help define a nation's stock of social capital. Scholars have paid even less attention to how institutional arrangements affect levels of social capital. We argue that giving parents greater choice over the public schools their children attend creates incentives for parents as “citizen/consumers†to engage in activities that build social capital. Our empirical analysis employs a quasi-experimental approach comparing parental behavior in two pairs of demographically similar school districts that vary on the degree of parental choice over the schools their children attend. Our data show that, controlling for many other factors, parents who choose when given the opportunity are higher on all the indicators of social capital analyzed. Fukuyama has argued that it is easier for governments to decrease social capital than to increase it. We argue, however, that the design of government institutions can create incentives for individuals to engage in activities that increase social capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Schneider, Mark & Teske, Paul & Marschall, Melissa & Mintrom, Michael & Roch, Christine, 1997. "Institutional Arrangements and the Creation of Social Capital: The Effects of Public School Choice," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 91(1), pages 82-93, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:91:y:1997:i:01:p:82-93_23
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Schneider & Gregory Elacqua & Jack Buckley, 2006. "School choice in Chile: Is it class or the classroom?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 577-601.
    2. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2008. "Endogenous growth, decline in social capital and expansion of market activities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 917-926, September.
    3. Thomas C. Beierle & David M. Konisky, 2000. "Values, conflict, and trust in participatory environmental planning," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 587-602.
    4. Poulsen, Anders & Svendsen, Gert Tinggaard, 2003. "Rise and Decline of Social Capital," Working Papers 03-10, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    5. Beierle, Thomas & Cayford, Jerrell, 2001. "Evaluating Dispute Resolution as an Approach to Public Participation," Discussion Papers dp-01-40, Resources For the Future.
    6. Newton, Kenneth, 2005. "Support for democracy: Social capital, civil society and political performance," Discussion Papers, Research Group Civil Society, Citizenship and Political Mobilization in Europe SP IV 2005-402, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    7. Bjrnskov, Christian, 2009. "Social trust and the growth of schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 249-257, April.
    8. Pronyk, Paul M. & Harpham, Trudy & Busza, Joanna & Phetla, Godfrey & Morison, Linda A. & Hargreaves, James R. & Kim, Julia C. & Watts, Charlotte H. & Porter, John D., 2008. "Can social capital be intentionally generated? A randomized trial from rural South Africa," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(10), pages 1559-1570, November.
    9. Geoffrey Rapp, 2000. "Agency and Choice in Education: Does school choice enhance the work effort of teachers?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 37-63.
    10. Beierle, Thomas C. & Konisky, David M., 1999. "Public Participation in Environmental Planning in the Great Lakes Region," Discussion Papers 10578, Resources for the Future.
    11. William Fischel, 2006. "Why Voters Veto Vouchers: Public Schools and Community-Specific Social Capital," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 109-132, May.
    12. Matthias Buchecker & Christine Meier & Marcel Hunziker, 2009. "Measuring the Effects of Consensus-building Processes with Methods of Intervention Research," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 259-280, January.
    13. Krishna, Anirudh, 2004. "Understanding, measuring and utilizing social capital: clarifying concepts and presenting a field application from India," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 291-305, December.
    14. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S. & Huck, Steffen, 2001. "More Order with Less Law: On Contract Enforcement, Trust, and Crowding," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 95(1), pages 131-144, March.
    15. Christine H. Roch & Na Sai, 2015. "Nonprofit, For-Profit, or Stand-Alone? How Management Organizations Influence the Working Conditions in Charter Schools," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1380-1395, November.
    16. Anders Poulsen & Gert Svendsen, 2005. "Social Capital and Endogenous Preferences," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 171-196, April.
    17. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2012. "Globalization and social networks," MPRA Paper 40404, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Jung-Sook Kim & Yeo-Jung Hwang, 2014. "The Effects of School Choice on Parental School Participation and School Satisfaction in Korea," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 363-385, January.
    19. Bodin, Örjan & Crona, Beatrice I., 2008. "Management of Natural Resources at the Community Level: Exploring the Role of Social Capital and Leadership in a Rural Fishing Community," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 2763-2779, December.
    20. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2007. "Endogenous growth, decline in social capital and expansion of market activities," MPRA Paper 3341, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. David A. Freedman, 2009. "Limits of Econometrics," International Econometric Review (IER), Econometric Research Association, vol. 1(1), pages 5-17, April.
    22. Krishna, Anirudh, 2003. "Understanding, measuring and utilizing social capital: clarifying concepts and presenting a field application from India," CAPRi working papers 28, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    23. Beierle, Thomas C., 1998. "Public Participation in Environmental Decisions: An Evaluation Framework Using Social Goals," Discussion Papers 10497, Resources for the Future.
    24. Krishna, Anirudh, 2001. "Moving from the Stock of Social Capital to the Flow of Benefits: The Role of Agency," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 925-943, June.
    25. Beierle, Thomas C. & Cayford, Jerry, 2001. "Evaluating Dispute Resolution as an Approach to Public Participation," Discussion Papers 10899, Resources for the Future.

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