Coping and Social Capital: The Informal Sector and the Democratic Transition

34 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2005

See all articles by Eric M. Uslaner

Eric M. Uslaner

University of Maryland, College Park; Institute for Corruption Studies

Date Written: September 2004

Abstract

Transition countries are short on both trust in people and trust in government. Scarcity and corruption meant that ordinary citizens had to use informal connections to accomplish everyday tasks. Ordinary people also regularly had to make extra "gift" payments to doctors and government officials. These "connections" were potentially a source of "anti-social capital". Using a 2003 survey of Romanians, I find that using connections and making gift payments do not lead to less trust in others, or less satisfaction with the market or democracy or to perceptions of increasing inequality. Grand corruption, not petty corruption, is the source of low trust and faith in the market and democracy.

Keywords: trust, social capital, informal sector, transition

JEL Classification: Z13, D63, E26, P26

Suggested Citation

Uslaner, Eric M., Coping and Social Capital: The Informal Sector and the Democratic Transition (September 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=824485 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.824485

Eric M. Uslaner (Contact Author)

University of Maryland, College Park ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States
+1301 405 4151 (Phone)
+1301 314 9690 (Fax)

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

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