Mind the Gap! Social Capital, East and West

40 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2008

See all articles by Jan Fidrmuc

Jan Fidrmuc

Brunel University - Department of Economics and Finance; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - The William Davidson Institute

Klarita Gërxhani

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB); University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR); University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS)

Date Written: June 2007

Abstract

Recent Eurobarometer survey data are used to document and explain the stock of social capital in 28 European countries. Social capital in Central and Eastern Europe - measured by civic participation and access to social networks - lags behind that in Western European countries. Using regression analysis of determinants of individual stock of social capital, we find that this gap persists when we account for individual characteristics and endowments of respondents but disappears completely after we control for aggregate measures of economic development and quality of institutions. Informal institutions such as prevalence of corruption in post-communist countries appear particularly important. With the enlargement of the European Union, the gap in social capital should gradually disappear as the new member states catch up (economically and institutionally) with the old ones.

Keywords: social capital, institutions, capitalism, transition

JEL Classification: Z13, P37, O57, O17

Suggested Citation

Fidrmuc, Jan and Gërxhani, Klarita, Mind the Gap! Social Capital, East and West (June 2007). William Davidson Institute Working Paper No. 888. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1086371 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1086371

Jan Fidrmuc (Contact Author)

Brunel University - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Uxbridge UB8 3PH
United Kingdom
+44 1895 266 528 (Phone)
+44 1895 269 770 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - The William Davidson Institute

724 E. University Ave.
Wyly Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States

Klarita Gërxhani

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185
Amsterdam, 1012 DK
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/k.gerxhani/

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) ( email )

Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185
Amsterdam, 1012 DK
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/k.gerxhani/

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS)

Amsterdam
Netherlands

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