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How Persistent is Social Capital?

  • Jan Fidrmuc

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Formal and informal institutions are often thought of as being highly persistent, with historical events such as conflicts, authoritarian regimes or colonization having a long-lasting effect on their quality. To analyze the persistence of social capital, I look at regions which have experienced large-scale population displacements some 50-60 years ago. As social capital is embedded in relationships, regions that were repopulated by migrants are likely to start off with little inherited social capital. My analysis suggests that, with a lag of approximately two generations, the inhabitants of these regions display similar stocks of social capital as their counterparts in regions unaffected by population transfers. Hence, contrary to the Putnamesque view, much of the present-day social capital appears to have been formed in recent past rather than attributable to long-term historical legacies.

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File URL: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/342772/CEDI_12-04.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University in its series CEDI Discussion Paper Series with number 12-04.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:12-04
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  1. Konrad B. Burchardi & Tarek A. Hassan, 2011. "The Economic Impact of Social Ties: Evidence from German Reunification," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 405, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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  6. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Roland, Gerald, 2010. "Culture, Institutions and the Wealth of Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 5187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Katarzyna Growiec & Jakub Growiec, 2011. "Trusting Only Whom You Know, Knowing Only Whom You Trust: The Joint Impact of Social Capital and Trust on Individuals' Economic Performance and Well-Being in CEE Countries," EcoMod2011 2762, EcoMod.
  8. Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2002. "Do Natural Disasters Promote Long-Run Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 664-687, October.
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  10. Cuaresma, Jesus Crespo, 2009. "Natural disasters and human capital accumulation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4862, The World Bank.
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