رشد درونزا، کاهش سرمایه اجتماعی و توسعه فعالیت های بازار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|4118||2008||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6228 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 67, Issues 3–4, September 2008, Pages 917–926
We model in an endogenous growth set-up the hypotheses that the expansion of market activities weakens social capital formation and that firms can invest in formal mechanisms of control and enforcement to substitute for social capital (trust, work ethics, honesty). The model shows that the economy tends to grow faster when it is relatively poorer in social capital and that perpetual growth can be consistent with the progressive erosion of social capital. These results may help to reconcile Putnam's claim that social capital has declined in the U.S. with the satisfactory growth performance of the U.S. over the same period.
Defining social capital as those features of social organizations that facilitate coordination and cooperation (specifically, values and norms of reciprocity inherent in one's social networks), we should expect that members of communities with high stocks of social capital would be more able to monitor one another's behavior costlessly, reach informal understanding and agreements, enforce contracts, and resolve disputes amicably. In such communities, the incidence of litigation, corruption, conflicts and crime should be low, transaction costs should be reduced, and market activities should be facilitated. This claim that social capital is important for market efficiency is linked in this paper to the idea that the greatest danger to the social capital arises from the market itself. This idea has a long history, and some authors went so far as to maintain that the decline of the values (honesty, business ethics, trust, etc.) that prevent the spread of the opportunism generated by a market society will end up destroying the latter (Hirsch, 1976 and Hirschman, 1982).1 According to them, the progressive weakening of the cultural and ethical base of a market economy is a consequence of its evolution and success since the individualistic and competitive values system connected with the expansion of a market economy is the greatest threat to the efficient functioning of markets. A complementary thesis is that in a society that becomes more complex and differentiated, impersonal relations increasingly replace face-to-face interactions, thus undermining the possibility of founding economic transactions on interpersonal trust (see Hardin, 1998). Also Putnam (2000) links the marked decline in social capital that he documents to have occurred in the United States in the last decades to socioeconomic transformations that one can consider by-products of the process of marketization.2 Indeed, he identifies some possible determinants of this decline in the rising female participation in the labor market, in the increase in geographical mobility, in “the replacement of the corner grocery by the supermarket” and in the “privatizing” or “individualizing” of the leisure time (mainly due to the TV and to the diffusion of other home-entertainment technologies). More generally, some have argued that as income rises and the size of the middle class expands, many retreat from highly motivated social idealism and civic engagement to pursue personal objectives.3 However, some striking evidence presented by Putnam (2000) to support his claim that social trust has steadily declined in the U.S. in the last decades (i.e., documenting the explosive increase in the society's expenditures in formal activities of social control and dispute resolution)4 is consistent with the hypothesis that the erosion of social capital stimulates the rapid growth of those sectors of the economy which provide services that economic agents use to protect themselves against increasing opportunistic and defiant behavior by others. The growth of these sectors is surely related to the long-term rise in the “transaction cost sector” that was illustrated by Wallis and North (1986) for the U.S. economy.5 Moreover, this growth, which is paralleled by the decline in peer monitoring and informal sanctioning, can be considered a symptom of the increasingly explicit nature of norm enforcement that proceeds with modernization (see Bowles and Jayadev, 2006).6 Summarizing, the progressive “marketization” of social life, namely the process through which market relations become more pervasive, contributes to the diffusion of values, attitudes and behavior that do not favor the formation of social capital. In turn, the decline in social capital induces the economic agents to use more market services as substitutes for the diminished flow of services provided by it.7 The resources devoted to this use are subtracted from other productive uses, but at the same time they counterbalance the negative effect of a lower social capital on the productivity of inputs such as labor, human and physical capital. It should be clear from the previous discussion that in analyzing the impact of a decline in social capital on economic growth, one must consider not only its depressing consequences for factor productivity but also its stimulus to the expansion of market activities. One should also account for the self-feeding process whereby this expansion has a further negative effect on the formation of social capital. The original model presented in this paper contains all these features. Furthermore, taking for granted that there has been a decline in U.S. social capital, it may help to explain why, especially in the 1990s, this fall in social capital does not appear to have been paralleled in the United States by a disappointing growth performance. Indeed, this stylized fact seems at odds with Putnam's statement that social capital produces “aggregate economic growth” (Putnam, 2000, pp. 322–323). Also Durlauf and Fafchamps (2004, pp. 12) stress this point: “Putnam (2000), focusing on the U.S. experience since the 1950s, argues that social capital, defined as membership in formal and informal clubs, has declined monotonically since the 1950s. This is true for all states, all decades and all measures of social capital. However, he finds no relationship between the speed of the decline of social capital and economic performance across U.S. states or across time periods. Further, the relationship between social capital and socioeconomic outcomes is even harder to characterize when one looks at subperiods. For example, the 1990s was a period of rapid economic growth in the U.S. yet it was also a period of rapid decline in social capital, at least based on the sorts of measures he uses. To be clear, Putnam does attempt to associate higher social capital with better socioeconomic outcomes, our point is that the relationship between the two for the United States is even at first glance relatively complicated”.8 Moreover, both Durlauf (2002b) and Bovenberg (2003) complained about the absence of theoretical models that define precisely the mechanisms through which endogenous and exogenous variables interact and co-determine the time profile of social capital and of other indicators of economic performance.9 We contribute to fill this void by presenting an endogenous growth model that links social capital formation to the decisions by which economic agents determine their working time, accumulate human and physical capital and may substitute market services for the services provided by social capital. The model combines the idea that knowledge and productivity gains are achieved by each firm through (human and physical) capital utilization and spill over across all firms with the idea that the expansion of market production by each firm has negative externalities on the formation of social capital.10 Within this framework, it is shown that perpetual growth can be possible even if social capital (which enters the aggregate production function) is progressively eroded, and that in the long run an economy that grows faster tends to be relatively poorer in social capital and to exhibit a higher level of market work. Hence, our model can reconcile an observed decline in social capital with a satisfactory GDP growth in the long run. Moreover, it accounts for the possibility that a decline in social capital is accompanied by a rise in hours of market work per household, which is consistent with the fact that a documented increase in market work per adult has occurred in the United States starting from the early 1970s (see, e.g., Freeman and Schettkat, 2005), namely in a period in which, according to Putnam, U.S. social capital has declined. The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 presents the model, Section 3 characterizes the equilibrium trajectories of the economy, and Section 4 concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper we have insisted on an interpretation of social capital as a resource connected with group membership and social networks (Bourdieu, 1986) that tends to deteriorate as market activities become more pervasive. The deterioration of this resource can be interpreted as a decline in social cohesion and general trust that forces economic agents to raise their expenditure aimed at self-protecting from increased opportunism and defiant behavior. To shed light on the dynamics of an economy where social capital has these characteristics, we have augmented a Solow-Ramsey growth model by including: (i) social capital enhancing factor productivity, (ii) negative externalities affecting social capital formation and increasing with the level of market activity, (iii) the possibility for economic agents to substitute market services for social capital, (iv) positive externalities affecting total factor productivity and increasing with the aggregate stock of physical and human capital and (v) a labor–leisure choice. Within this framework, the economy may have multiple balanced growth paths (BGPs), and per capita GDP grows faster along the BGP characterized by a lower ratio between social capital and amount of resources invested in formal mechanisms of control and enforcement. In the special case in which market services are perfect substitutes for the services provided by social capital, it is shown that (i) the balanced growth path along which per capita GDP grows faster exhibits the lower ratio between social capital and physical capital, (ii) the economy converges asymptotically to the balanced growth path along which per capita GDP grows faster, the households devote more time to market activities and the social capital to physical capital ratio is lower, (iii) along the transition trajectory converging to the balanced growth path the social capital-physical and human capital ratio decreases monotonically and the time worked per household increases monotonically and (iv) perpetual growth can be consistent with the progressive erosion of social capital. The model presented here is consistent with the view that capitalism tends to erode the socio-cultural sediment on which it rests, but it does not share the view that this erosion imperils the growth prospects of the economy. In any case, we need systematic empirical evidence in order to assess how important are the impact of the expansion of market activities on social capital formation and the effects of the decline in social capital on the demand for market services that can substitute for it. Moreover, there are other elements of the relationship between social capital and economic growth that need to be clarified. In particular, future research should address the complex link connecting education and social capital and their joint impact on the growth process. Indeed, the existing literature has focused separately on various aspects of this connection, but without providing a formal framework for a unifying analysis of it.20 Finally, the emphasis on the relationship linking the education system to the society's endowment of social capital naturally raises the question of the interaction between social capital and government institutions and policies in affecting growth. Again, the necessity of further research derives from the fact that the existing literature has not yet formally treated this complex issue.