We investigate a channel through which social capital may improve
economic well-being and the functioning of institutions: political
accountability. The main idea is that voters who share values and
beliefs that foster cooperation are more likely to vote based on criteria
of social welfare rather than narrow personal interest. We frame this
intuition into a simple model of political agency and take it to the data
using information on the criminal prosecutions and absenteeism rates
of Italian members of Parliament. Empirical evidence shows that the
electoral punishment of these misbehaviors is considerably larger in
districts with higher social capital. (JEL D72, I31, Z13)
Nannicini, Tommaso, Andrea Stella, Guido Tabellini, and Ugo Troiano.
"Social Capital and Political Accountability."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification