Microfoundations of Social Capital

Publikation: Working paperForskning


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.
UdgiverDepartment of Economics, University of Copenhagen
Antal sider21
StatusUdgivet - 2009

Bibliografisk note

JEL classification: H41, C91, C72

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