What is Social Capital? the Determinants of Trust and Trustworthiness
Edward L. Glaeser
Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government, Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Jose A. Scheinkman
Princeton University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Christine L. Soutter
Harvard University - Department of Psychology
NBER Working Paper No. w7216
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 62working papers series
Date posted: January 10, 2000
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