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An Experimental Approach to Social Capital in South Africa

  • Carter, Michael R.

    (U of Wisconsin)

  • Castillo, Marco

    (U of Newcastle upon Tyne)

This paper measures the social capital of trust and trustworthiness in South Africa using an experimental protocol designed to distinguish these norms from altruism. Experimental participants played multiple roles, making it impossible to construct theoretically-grounded norm measures based on an individual's play across roles. Two-stage estimates of a social interaction model of norms identifies the presence of endogenous social effects, indicating that communities can be meaningfully typified as having and maintaining distinct normative environments. However, in contrast to studies that rely on less direct social capital measures, we do not find that trust boosts mean household living standards when controlling for the endogeneity of norms.

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Paper provided by University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics in its series Staff Paper Series with number 448.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecl:wisagr:448
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  1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys," IEW - Working Papers 040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  3. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2003. "Playing both roles in the trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-216, June.
  4. Abigail Barr, 1999. "Familiarity and trust: an experimental investigation," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1999-23, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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  8. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which Is The Fair Sex? Gender Differences In Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312, February.
  9. Nancy Buchan & Rachel Croson, 1999. "Gender and Culture: International Experimental Evidence from Trust Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 386-391, May.
  10. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1986. "Access to Capital and Agrarian Production Organisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 482-98, June.
  11. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
  12. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  13. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
  15. Cox, Donald & Eser, Zekeriya & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1998. "Motives for private transfers over the life cycle: An analytical framework and evidence for Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 57-80, February.
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