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Does a virtuous circle between social capital and CSR exist? A Ònetwork of gamesÓ model and some empirical evidence


  • Giacomo Degli Antoni

    () (University of Milano-Bicocca)

  • Lorenzo Sacconi

    () (University of Trento - Department of Economics)


Social capital and corporate social responsibility (CSR) have received increasing attention in research on the role that elements such as trust, trustworthiness and social norms of reciprocity and cooperation may have in promoting socio-economic development. Although social capital and CSR seem to have features in common, their relationship has not yet been analysed in depth. This paper investigates the idea of a virtuous circle between the level of social capital and the implementation of CSR practices that fosters the creation of cooperative networks between the firm and all its stakeholders. By using both a theoretical approach developed by considering tools of network analysis and psychological game theory and an empirical approach based on original evidence from three case studies, this study shows the role that cognitive social capital (understood as a disposition to conform with ethical principles of cooperation) and the adoption of CSR practices may have in promoting the emergence of sustainable networks of relations between the firm and all its stakeholders (structural social capital).

Suggested Citation

  • Giacomo Degli Antoni & Lorenzo Sacconi, 2011. "Does a virtuous circle between social capital and CSR exist? A Ònetwork of gamesÓ model and some empirical evidence," Econometica Working Papers wp28, Econometica.
  • Handle: RePEc:ent:wpaper:wp28

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bacharach, Michael, 1999. "Interactive team reasoning: A contribution to the theory of co-operation," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 117-147, June.
    2. Sunstein,Cass R., 2004. "Risk and Reason," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016254, March.
    3. Michael Bacharach, 2006. "The Hi-Lo Paradox, from Beyond Individual Choice: Teams and Frames in Game Theory," Introductory Chapters,in: Natalie Gold & Robert Sugden (ed.), Beyond Individual Choice: Teams and Frames in Game Theory Princeton University Press.
    4. Lorenzo Sacconi & Marco Faillo, 2010. "Conformity, reciprocity and the sense of justice. How social contract-based preferences and beliefs explain norm compliance: the experimental evidence," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 171-201, June.
    5. Sugden, Robert, 2000. "Team Preferences," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 175-204, October.
    6. Lorenzo Sacconi, 2011. "Multi-stakeholder governance for effectively sharing social responsibility 1 (social contracts, deliberative democracy and endogenous conformity)," Econometica Working Papers wp26, Econometica.
    7. Kaufman, Allen & Zacharias, Lawrence, 1992. "From Trust to Contract: The Legal Language of Managerial Ideology, 1920–1980," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(03), pages 523-572, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Becchetti, Leonardo & Palestini, Arsen & Solferino, Nazaria & Elisabetta Tessitore, M., 2014. "The socially responsible choice in a duopolistic market: A dynamic model of “ethical product” differentiation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 114-123.
    2. Cheung, Adrian (Wai Kong), 2016. "Corporate social responsibility and corporate cash holdings," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 412-430.

    More about this item


    Social capital; Corporate Social Responsibility; Social norms; Network; Cooperation; Trust;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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