Social capital and endogenous preferences

Anders U. Poulsen, Gert Tinggaard Svendsen

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20 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we analyze whether social capital can emerge endogenously from a process of preference evolution. We define social capital as preferences that promote voluntary cooperation in a one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma game. We investigate how the endogenous preferences depend on the amount of information individuals have about each other’s preferences. When there is sufficiently much information, maximal social capital emerges. In general, the level of social capital varies positively with the amount of information. Our results may add to an understanding of the factors that determine a society’s ability to generate cooperative outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-196
Number of pages26
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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