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The agrarian origins of social capital

Vitantonio Mariella

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2022, vol. 193, issue C, 543-568

Abstract: This paper investigates the agrarian roots of social capital. I show that Italian areas exhibiting a higher share of temporary agricultural workers in the Post-Unification period register lower civic capital today. Spatial analysis and IV estimates using malaria as a source of exogenous variation indicate that the effect is robust even after controlling for social-property relations being not randomly determined. Finally, I demonstrate that institutions affecting the benefits and costs of cultural norms generate persistent effects. I investigate the role of “industrial districts” as a mechanism to transmit the cultural trait of cooperation through time. Since they developed where temporary workers were relatively rare, I find those municipalities exhibiting high civic capital to have a higher propensity to belong to an industrial district.

Keywords: Temporary workers; Social capital; Land tenure; Persistence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J43 O10 O43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2021.11.029

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:193:y:2022:i:c:p:543-568