The Social Context of the Labor Supply
In this paper we empirically investigate the relationship between social capital and the supply of labor. We identify social capital with non-market relationships. Data are obtained from the US General Social Survey for the period 1976-2004. We find evidence that social capital affects the supply of labor. In particular non-instrumental relations reduce the supply of labor, whereas instrumental relations increase it. Moreover, there are substantial differences between men and women: social capital has a greater impact on the labor supply of women. Our findings suggest that Putnam’s thesis that the decline of US social capital is largely due to the increase in participation of women to the labor market may be partly reversed: the decline of US intrinsic social capital has fostered women’s labor market participation.
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