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What is Social Capital? The Determinants of Trust and Trustworthiness

Published on Jul 1, 1999in National Bureau of Economic Research
· DOI :10.3386/W7216
Edward L. Glaeser95
Estimated H-index: 95
(Harvard University),
David Laibson61
Estimated H-index: 61
(NBER: National Bureau of Economic Research)
+ 1 AuthorsChristine L. Soutter1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Harvard University)
Sources
Abstract
Using a sample of Harvard undergraduates, we analyze trust and social capital in two experiments. Trusting behavior and trustworthiness rise with social connection; differences in race and nationality reduce the level of trustworthiness. Certain individuals appear to be persistently more trusting, but these people do not say they are more trusting in surveys. Survey questions about trust predict trustworthiness not trust. Only children are less trustworthy. People behave in a more trustworthy manner towards higher status individuals, and therefore status increases earnings in the experiment. As such, high status persons can be said to have more social capital.
  • References (13)
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