Click here to download

Trust in people and institutions: evidence from a survey on the civic capital of stu-dents
Journal Title: RIVISTA DI ECONOMIA E STATISTICA DEL TERRITORIO 
Author/s: Giorgio Fazio, Enza Maltese, Davide Piacentino 
Year:  2016 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  13 Pg. 100-112 FullText PDF:  154 KB
DOI:  10.3280/REST2016-003007
(DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation:  clicca qui   and here 


Objectives According to economic theory, civic capital is the result of a process of social investment through vertical transmission channels, internal to the family, and horizontal socialization, among peers. The reference context, such as the neighbourhood, plays an important role influencing both of these channels.This paper presents some initial evidence obtained from a statistical survey conducted on students of secondary high schools of the city of Palermo with the aim of measuring the basic dimensions that contribute to the formation of the civic and human capital. In particular, the focus is here placed on trust, an important cultural trait at the base of civic capital. In particular, it draws a distinction between trust in people (family, teachers, friends, neighbours etc.) and institutions (state, school, religious institutions etc.).
Methods and Results
The analysis here proposed is predominantly descriptive. After reporting some information on the characteristics of the survey and the sample, the study focuses on the general tendency of students with respect to trust in persons and Institutions by means of descriptive statistics. Then, the analysis aims at investigating heterogeneity across space and depending on the level of education of the reference adults at home, using basic statistical tests of difference and ANOVA. In general, trust emerges as a cultural trait characterized by "strong ties", established through more intensive relationships, where the high degree of trust towards family, friends and teachers contrasts a general mistrust towards those people and institutions characterized by weak bonds. The spatial analysis highlights statistically significant differences in the comparison between students living in the urban and extra-urban area and among those in different neighbourhoods of the city. These differences seem to emerge also with regard to the educational level of the reference adults at home.
Conclusions
This analysis seems to provide preliminary evidence of interest for local policymakers. However, it seems necessary to carry out more detailed future analysis in order to better identify the mechanisms of transmission of values and the role of the school and local institutions in the process of civic capital formation.
Keywords: Trust, survey, civic capital, institutions, spatial heterogeneity
Jel Code: C80; I25; O15; R00

  1. Banfield E.C. (1958), The Moral Basis of a Backward Society. New York: free press.
  2. Baumont C. (2007), Neighborhood Effects, Urban Public Policies and Housing Values. A Spatial Econometric Perspective. LEG – Document de travail – Economie 2007-09, LEG, Laboratoire d’Economie et de Gestion, CNRS, Université de Bourgogne.
  3. Bisin A., Verdier T. (2001), The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Evolution of Preferences, Journal of Economic Theory, 97, pp. 298-319.
  4. Debertin D.L., Goetz S.J. (2010), Social Capital Formation in Rural, Urban and Suburban Communities, in P. Maiti (ed.), Environmental Politics: From Sociability to Sustenance. New Delhi: Discovery Publishing House PVT LTD, pp. 166-195.
  5. Del Bello C.L., Patacchini E., Zenou Y. (2015), Neighborhood Effects in Education, IZA Discussion Papers 8956, Institute for the Study of Labor.
  6. Durlauf S. (2004), Neighborhood Effects, Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, vol. 4 (ed. by J.V. Henderson, J.E. Thisse).
  7. Fazio G., Lavecchia L. (2013), Social Capital Formation across Space Proximity and Trust in European Regions, International Regional Science Review, 36, pp. 296-321.
  8. Gitell R.V., Vidal A. (1998), Community Organizing: Building Social Capital as a Development Strategy. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.
  9. Granovetter M. (1973), The Strength of Weak Ties, American Journal of Sociology, 78, pp. 1360-1380.
  10. Guiso L., Sapienza P., Zingales L. (2010), Civic Capital as the Missing Link, in Handbook of Social Economics. North Holland, 2011, chap. 10.
  11. Harding D.J. (2011), Rethinking the Cultural Context of Schooling Decisions in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods: From Deviant Subculture to Cultural Heterogeneity, Social Education, 1, 84, 4, pp. 322-339.
  12. Hofferth S., Iceland J. (1998), Social Capital in Rural and Urban Communities, Rural Sociology, 63, pp. 574-598.
  13. Solow R. (1995), Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (Book Review), The New Republic, 213, pp. 36-40.
  14. Tabellini G. (2008), The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 3, pp. 905-950.
  15. Woolcock M. (1998), Social Capital and Economic Development: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis and Social and Policy Framework, Theory and Society, 27, pp. 151-208.

Giorgio Fazio, Enza Maltese, Davide Piacentino, Trust in people and institutions: evidence from a survey on the civic capital of stu-dents in "RIVISTA DI ECONOMIA E STATISTICA DEL TERRITORIO" 3/2016, pp. 100-112, DOI:10.3280/REST2016-003007

   

FrancoAngeli is a member of Publishers International Linking Association a not for profit orgasnization wich runs the CrossRef service, enabing links to and from online scholarly content