Microfoundations of Social Capital
Christian Thöni (),
Jean-Robert Tyran () and
Erik Wengström ()
No 2010-19, NRN working papers from The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
We show that the standard trust question routinely used in social capital research is importantly related to cooperation behavior and we provide evidence on the microfoundation of this relation. We run a large-scale public goods experiment over the internet in Denmark using a design that enables us to disentangle preferences for cooperation from beliefs about others’ cooperation. We find that the standard trust question is a proxy for cooperation preferences rather than beliefs about others’ cooperation. Moreover, we show that the “fairness question”, a recently proposed alternative to the standard trust question, is also related to cooperation behavior but operates through beliefs rather than preferences.
Keywords: Social capital; Trust; Fairness; Public goods; Cooperation; Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H41 C91 C72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Journal Article: Microfoundations of social capital (2012)
Working Paper: Microfoundations of Social Capital (2010)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2010_19
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