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Mind the gap! Social capital, East and West

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  • Fidrmuc, Jan
  • Gërxhani, Klarita

Abstract

Social capital in Central and Eastern Europe lags behind that in Western European countries. We analyze the determinants of individual stock of social capital - measured by civic participation and access to social networks - and find that this gap persists when we account for individual characteristics and endowments of respondents. However, the gap disappears completely after we include aggregate measures of economic development and quality of institutions. Informal institutions such as the prevalence of corruption in post-communist countries appear particularly important. With the enlargement of the European Union, the gap in social capital should gradually disappear as the new member states catch up (economically and institutionally) with the old ones. Journal of Comparative Economics 36 (2) (2008) 264-286.

Suggested Citation

  • Fidrmuc, Jan & Gërxhani, Klarita, 2008. "Mind the gap! Social capital, East and West," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 264-286, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:36:y:2008:i:2:p:264-286
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • P37 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Legal
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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