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Social Capital and Community Governance

  • Samuel Bowles

    (University of Massachusetts, Santa Fe Institute and University of Siena)

  • Herbert Gintis

    (University of Massachusetts, Santa Fe Institute and University of Siena)

"Community governance" is the set of small group social interactions that, with market and state, determine economic outcomes. We argue (i) community governance addresses some common market and state failures but typically relies on insider--outsider distinctions that may be morally repugnant and economically costly; (ii) the individual motivations supporting community governance are not captured by either selfishness or altruism; (iii) communities, markets and states are complements, not substitutes; (iv) when poorly designed, markets and states crowd out communities; (v) some distributions of property rights are better than others at fostering community governance; and (vi) communities will probably increase in importance in the future. Copyright Royal Economic Society 2002

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 112 (2002)
Issue (Month): 483 (November)
Pages: 419-436

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:483:p:419-436
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