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Social capital in transition: a first look at the evidence

  • Martin Raiser

    (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)

  • Christian Haerpfer

    (Institute of Higher Studies, University of Vienna)

  • Thomas Nowotny

    (University of Vienna and Austrian National Bank)

  • Claire Wallace

    (Institute of Higher Studies, University of Vienna)

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    This paper provides what we believe to be the first collection of data on social capital in the transition countries of central/eastern Europe and of the former Soviet Union. Using data from the World Values Survey 1990 and 1995 we document the degree of trust and of civic participation and find that these indicators of social capital are significantly lower than in OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). The paper also provides a preliminary investigation of the link between social capital and growth during transition. Unlike in market economies, in transition countries trust is not positively related to growth; while participation in civic organisations shows a positive correlation. We also construct indicators of trust in public institutions and find positive correlations with growth rates. The positive association of civic participation with growth is robust to the use of instrumental variable techniques to control for potential problems of endogeneity.

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    Paper provided by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist in its series Working Papers with number 61.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ebd:wpaper:61
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