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Social Capital, Government Expenditures, and Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Ugo Troiano

    (Harvard University)

  • Giacomo Ponzetto

    (CREI and Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Abstract

Countries with greater social capital have higher economic growth. We show that social capital is also highly positively correlated across countries with government expenditure on education. We develop an infinite-horizon model of public spending and endogenous stochastic growth that explains both facts through frictions in political agency when voters have imperfect information. In our model, the government provides services that yield immediate utility, and investment that raises future productivity. Voters are more likely to observe public services, so politicians have electoral incentives to under-provide public investment. Social capital increases voters' awareness of all government activity. As a consequence, both politicians' incentives and their selection improve. In the dynamic equilibrium, both the amount and the efficiency of public investment increase, permanently raising the growth rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Ugo Troiano & Giacomo Ponzetto, 2012. "Social Capital, Government Expenditures, and Growth," 2012 Meeting Papers 1048, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:1048
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:3:p:644-657 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2017. "Housing booms and busts and local fiscal policy," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-001, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Gino Gancia, 2013. "Uncertainty, Electoral Incentives and Political Myopia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 373-400, May.
    4. repec:ksp:journ5:v:4:y:2017:i:1:p:54-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. David Bartolini & Agnese Sacchi & Domenico Scalera & Alberto Zazzaro, 2018. "The closer the better? Institutional distance and information blurring in a political agency model," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 146, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    6. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Dinh, Hinh T., 2015. "Social capital, product imitation and growth with learning externalities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 41-54.
    7. Mark Dincecco & Ugo Troiano, 2015. "Broadening the State: Policy Responses to the Introduction of the Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 21373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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