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Building Social Trust: A Human Capital Approach

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  • Fali Huang

    (School of Economics, Singapore Management University)

Abstract

Much evidence suggests individuals differ in their predisposition to cooperate, which is essentially a component of human capital. This paper examines the role of individual cooperative tendencies and their interactions with institutions in generating social trust; it also endogenizes cooperative tendencies using a human capital investment model. Multiple equilibria and ineffciencies exist due to positive externalities. An innovative fi?nding is that, when institutions are more e¤ective in punishing defecting behaviors, more people invest in cooperative tendencies and hence the endogenous social trust is higher, though the equilibrium cooperative tendencies are lower. This paper provides a plausible explanation for many empirical and experimental results

Suggested Citation

  • Fali Huang, 2007. "Building Social Trust: A Human Capital Approach," Working Papers 08-2007, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:siu:wpaper:08-2007
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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