IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Microfoundations of Social Capital

  • Christian Thöni

    (University of St. Gallen)

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Erik Wengström

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

We show that the standard trust question routinely used in social capital research is importantly related to cooperation behavior and we provide a microfoundation for this relation. We run a large-scale public goods experiment over the internet in Denmark and find that the trust question is a proxy for cooperation preferences rather than beliefs about others’ cooperation. To disentangle the preference and belief channels, we run a (standard) public goods game in which beliefs matter for cooperation choices and one (using the strategy method) in which they do not matter. We show that the “fairness question”, a recently proposed alternative to the “trust question”, is also related to cooperation behavior but operates through beliefs rather than preferences.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/dp_2009/0924.pdf/
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/dp_2009/0924rev.pdf/
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 09-24.

as
in new window

Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision: Sep 2010
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0924
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Øster Farimagsgade 5, Building 26, DK-1353 Copenhagen K., Denmark

Phone: (+45) 35 32 30 10
Fax: +45 35 32 30 00
Web page: http://www.econ.ku.dk
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ernst Fehr, 2009. "On The Economics and Biology of Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 235-266, 04-05.
  2. Charles Bellemare & Sabine Kroger, 2005. "On representative social capital," Artefactual Field Experiments 00006, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Benedikt Herrmann & Christian Thoeni, 2007. "Measuring Conditional Cooperation: A Replication Study in Russia," Discussion Papers 2007-07, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  4. Camerer, Colin F. & Hogarth, Robin M., 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Working Papers 1059, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
  6. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Laura Schechter, 2005. "Traditional trust measurement and the risk confound: An experiment in rural paraguay," Artefactual Field Experiments 00106, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, 2006. "A note on the theory and measurement of trust in explaining differences in economic growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 371-387, May.
  9. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital and Predict Financial Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1688-1699, December.
  10. Iris Bohnet & Fiona Greig & Benedikt Herrmann & Richard Zeckhauser, 2007. "Betrayal Aversion: Evidence from Brazil, China, Oman, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States," Discussion Papers 2007-08, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  11. Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs & von Rosenbladt, Bernhard & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2003. "A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioral Experiments into Representative Surveys," IZA Discussion Papers 715, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1095-1131.
  13. Håkan J. Holm & Anders Danielson, 2005. "Tropic Trust Versus Nordic Trust: Experimental Evidence From Tanzania And Sweden," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 505-532, 04.
  14. Andreoni, James & Vesterlund, Lise, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," Staff General Research Papers 1951, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  15. Martin Dufwenberg & Simon Gaechter & Heike Hennig-Schmidt, 2010. "The Framing of Games and the Psychology of Play," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse15_2010, University of Bonn, Germany.
  16. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
  17. 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.
  18. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Trust in Large Organizations," NBER Working Papers 5864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Thomas Markussen & Louis Putterman & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2011. "Self-Organization for Collective Action: An Experimental Study of Voting on Formal, Informal, and No Sanction Regimes," Discussion Papers 11-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  20. Bernd Hardeweg & Lukas Menkhoff & Hermann Waibel, 2013. "Experimentally Validated Survey Evidence on Individual Risk Attitudes in Rural Thailand," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 859 - 888.
  21. Volk, Stefan & Thöni, Christian & Ruigrok, Winfried, 2012. "Temporal stability and psychological foundations of cooperation preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 664-676.
  22. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gachter, 2010. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 541-56, March.
  23. Steven N. Durlauf, 2002. "On the Empirics of Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 459-479, November.
  24. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe & Schupp Jürgen & Wagner Gert, 2009. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants and Behavioral Consequences," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  25. Ernst Fehr & Michael Naef & Klaus M. Schmidt, 2006. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1912-1917, December.
  26. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  27. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  28. Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor, 2008. "Are Risk Preferences Stable? Comparing an Experimental Measure with a Validated Survey-Based Measure," Working Papers 74, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  29. Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
  30. Lisa Anderson & Jennifer Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2004. "Social Capital and Contributions in a Public Goods Experiment," Working Papers 0317, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  31. Paola Sapienza & Anna Toldra & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Understanding Trust," NBER Working Papers 13387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital And Predict Financial Decisions," Working Papers 909, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  33. Kocher, Martin G. & Cherry, Todd & Kroll, Stephan & Netzer, Robert J. & Sutter, Matthias, 2008. "Conditional cooperation on three continents," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 175-178, December.
  34. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2010. "Risk and Time Preferences: Linking Experimental and Household Survey Data from Vietnam," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 557-71, March.
  35. Andereoni, J., 1988. "Why Free Ride? Strategies And Learning In Public Goods Experiments," Working papers 375, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  36. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  37. Joel Sobel, 2002. "Can We Trust Social Capital?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 139-154, March.
  38. Francesco Guala & Roberto Burlando, 2002. "Conditional Cooperation: new evidence from a public goods experiment," CEEL Working Papers 0210, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  39. Nowell, Clifford & Tinkler, Sarah, 1994. "The influence of gender on the provision of a public good," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 25-36, September.
  40. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
  41. Solow, John L. & Kirkwood, Nicole, 2002. "Group identity and gender in public goods experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 403-412, August.
  42. Gachter, Simon & Herrmann, Benedikt & Thoni, Christian, 2004. "Trust, voluntary cooperation, and socio-economic background: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 505-531, December.
  43. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
  44. William A. Galston, 2001. "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 788-790.
  45. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0924. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Hoffmann)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.