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Violence and social capital: Evidence of a microeconomic vicious circle

Author

Listed:
  • Leonardo Becchetti

    () (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

  • Pierluigi Conzo

    () (University of Rome Tor Vergata & EIEF)

  • Alessandro Romeo

    () (University of Rome Tor Vergata & World Bank)

Abstract

We test with a randomized experiment in the slums of Nairobi whether violence suffered during the 2007 political outbreaks affects trustworthiness learning when participants live group experiences and face opportunism and free riding in public good games (PGGs) between two subsequent trust games (TGs). Our findings document that participants move toward balanced reciprocity after the PGG with the exception of those who have experienced directly or indirectly physical violence and/or forced relocation who exhibit significantly less trustworthiness in the second TG round. Results are robust to several robustness checks controlling for selection into victimization. Since in a framework of asymmetric information and incomplete contracts, trust games mimic sequential economic exchanges whose functioning is crucial to economic growth, we argue that our results identify a microeconomic nexus among socio-political instability, violence and growth helping to solve identification problems of the cross-country literature on the subject.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Becchetti & Pierluigi Conzo & Alessandro Romeo, 2011. "Violence and social capital: Evidence of a microeconomic vicious circle," Working Papers 197, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2011-197
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    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2011-197.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2003. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1161-1189, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Becchetti, Leonardo & Castriota, Stefano & Conzo, Pierluigi, 2017. "Disaster, Aid, and Preferences: The Long-run Impact of the Tsunami on Giving in Sri Lanka," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 157-173.
    2. María Fernanda Torres Penagos, 2018. "Índice de pobreza multidimensional oculta para la localidad de Teusaquillo (Bogotá): propuesta metodológica a partir de percepciones ciudadanas," Revista Cuadernos de Economía, Universidad Nacional de Colombia -FCE - CID, vol. 37(74), pages 555-588, July.
    3. Lisa Cook, 2014. "Violence and economic activity: evidence from African American patents, 1870–1940," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 221-257, June.
    4. Sangnier, Marc & Zylberberg, Yanos, 2017. "Protests and trust in the state: Evidence from African countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 55-67.
    5. Alessandra Cassar & Pauline Grosjean & Sam Whitt, 2013. "Legacies of violence: trust and market development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 285-318, September.
    6. Werner, Katharina, 2016. "Whom do people trust after a violent conflict? Experimental evidence from Maluku, Indonesia," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-73-16, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    7. María Fernanda Torres Penagos, 2018. "Índice de Pobreza Multidimensional oculta para la localidad de Teusaquillo (Bogotá): propuesta metodológica a partir de percepciones ciudadanas," Revista Cuadernos de Economía, Universidad Nacional de Colombia -FCE - CID, vol. 37(74), pages 555-588, July.
    8. Alessandra Cassar & Pauline Grosjean & Sam Whitt, 2011. "Social Cooperation and the Problem of the Conflict Gap: Survey and Experimental Evidence from Post-War Tajikistan," Discussion Papers 2011-15, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    9. Werner, Katharina & Graf Lambsdorff, Johann, 2016. "Emotional numbing and lessons learned after a violent conflict - Experimental evidence from Ambon, Indonesia," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-74-16, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    trust games; public good games; randomized experiment; social capital; socioeconomic instability and development.;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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