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Social capital formation across space: proximity and trust in European regions

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  • Giorgio Fazio
  • Luciano Lavecchia

Abstract

An extensive economics and regional science literature has discussed the importance of social capital for economic growth and development. Yet, what social capital is and how it is formed are elusive issues, which require further investigation. Here, we refer to social capital in terms of “civic capital” and “good culture” as rephrased by Guiso, Sapienza and Zingales (2010) and Tabellini (2010). The accumulation of this kind of capital allows the emerging of regional informal institutions, which may help explaining differences in regional development. In this paper, we take a regional perspective and use exploratory space and space-time methods to assess whether geography, via proximity, contributes to the formation of social capital across European regions. In particular, we ask whether generalized trust, a fundamental constituent of social capital and an ingredient of economic development, tends to be clustered across space and over time. From the policy standpoint, the spatial “hysteresis” of regional trust may contribute to the formation of “spatial traps” of social capital and act as a further barrier to regional economic development and convergence.

Suggested Citation

  • Giorgio Fazio & Luciano Lavecchia, 2012. "Social capital formation across space: proximity and trust in European regions," Working Papers 2012_07, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  • Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2012_07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "Trusting the Stock Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(6), pages 2557-2600, December.
    2. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, June.
    3. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    4. Ivan Faiella, 2010. "The use of survey weights in regression analysis," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 739, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 526-556, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marina Van Geenhuizen & Pieter Stek, 2015. "Mapping innovation in the global photovoltaic industry: a bibliometric approach to cluster identification and analysis," ERSA conference papers ersa15p697, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Terry Gregory & Roberto Patuelli, 2015. "Demographic ageing and the polarization of regions—an exploratory space–time analysis," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 47(5), pages 1192-1210, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Capital; Generalized Trust; European Social Survey; Spatial Dynamics; ESTDA;

    JEL classification:

    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration

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