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The social capital legacy of communism-results from the Berlin Wall experiment

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  • Boenisch, Peter
  • Schneider, Lutz

Abstract

In this paper we establish a direct link between the communist history, the resulting structure of social capital, and attitudes toward spatial mobility. We argue that the communist regime induced a specific social capital mix that discouraged geographic mobility even after its demise. Theoretically, we integrate two branches of the social capital literature into one more comprehensive framework distinguishing an open type and a closed type of social capital. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) we take advantage of the natural experiment that separated Germany into two parts after the WWII to identify the causal effect of social capital on mobility. We estimate a three equation ordered probit model and provide strong empirical evidence for our theoretical propositions.

Suggested Citation

  • Boenisch, Peter & Schneider, Lutz, 2013. "The social capital legacy of communism-results from the Berlin Wall experiment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 391-411.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:32:y:2013:i:c:p:391-411
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2013.09.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2012. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 645-677.
    2. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2016. "Long-Term Persistence," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(6), pages 1401-1436, December.
    3. David, Quentin & Janiak, Alexandre & Wasmer, Etienne, 2010. "Local social capital and geographical mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 191-204, September.
    4. Levin, Mark & Satarov, Georgy, 2000. "Corruption and institutions in Russia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 113-132, March.
    5. Marcel Fafchamps, 2006. "Development and social capital," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(7), pages 1180-1198.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Friehe & Helge Mueller & Florian Neumeier, 2017. "The effect of Western TV on crime: Evidence from East Germany," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201710, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Tim Friehe & Helge Mueller & Florian Neumeier, 2017. "Media content's role in the making of a democrat: Evidence from East Germany," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201711, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    3. Bergh, Andreas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2014. "Trust, welfare states and income equality: Sorting out the causality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 183-199.
    4. Petr Huber & Josef Montag, 2018. "Homeownership, Political Participation, and Social Capital in Post- Communist Countries and Western Europe," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2018-74, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Communism; Social capital; Mobility; Institutional transition;

    JEL classification:

    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation

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