Microfoundations of Social Capital
Christian Thöni (),
Jean-Robert Tyran () and
Erik Wengström ()
No 09-24, Discussion Papers from University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics
We show that the standard trust question routinely used in social capital research is importantly related to cooperation behavior and we provide a microfoundation for this relation. We run a large-scale public goods experiment over the internet in Denmark and find that the trust question is a proxy for cooperation preferences rather than beliefs about others’ cooperation. To disentangle the preference and belief channels, we run a (standard) public goods game in which beliefs matter for cooperation choices and one (using the strategy method) in which they do not matter. We show that the “fairness question”, a recently proposed alternative to the “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)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-pbe and nep-soc
Date: 2009-10, Revised 2010-09
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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:kud:kuiedp:0924
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