Do positional concerns destroy social capital : evidence from 26 countries

Fischer, Justina A.V. & Torgler, Benno (2013) Do positional concerns destroy social capital : evidence from 26 countries. Economic Inquiry, 51(2), pp. 1542-1565.

View at publisher


Research on the effects of positional concerns on individuals' attitudes and behavior is sorely lacking. To address this deficiency, we use the International Social Survey Programme 1998 data on 25,000 individuals from 26 countries to investigate the impact of relative income position on three facets of social capital: horizontal and vertical trust as well as norm compliance. Testing relative deprivation theory, we identify a deleterious positional income effect for persons below the reference income, particularly for their social trust and confidence in secular institutions. Also often a social capital-lowering effect of relative income advantage occurs, while a rise in absolute income almost always contributes positively. These results indicate that a rise in income inequality in a society too large is rather detrimental to the formation of social capital. (JEL Z130, I300, D310)

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
4 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 65274
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-7295.2011.00441.x
ISSN: 0095-2583
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Western Economic Association International
Deposited On: 19 Dec 2013 02:44
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2013 22:10

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page