Routledge, 2002, x+133
This immensely readable book by Patrick Francois provides an original insight into the increasingly fashionable topic that is social capital. Social capital is shown to be both caused by and a cause of economic development, and Francois has enlivened the debate on development strategy, explaining why some countries have stalled with low productivity and seemingly low social capital, whereas others are rich in both. In a unique, original book, Francois emphasizes trustworthiness as a vital feature of social capital and argues that standard economic treatments of this phenomenon are inadequate.
Social Capital and Economic Development’s richer evolutionary treatment of this is embedded in a neoclassical model. This book will prove to be essential reading for economic development scholars, as well as those interested in development studies and economic thought in general.
Patrick Francois is Associate Professor at Tilburg University, The Netherlands.
2. Culture and economic development: Culture, social capital and the operation of markets – Trustworthiness: the cultural variable that matters – Does trustworthiness rule out homo economicus? – Japan and cultural versus institutional explanations – Conclusions – Appendix: cultural variation documented
3. New Institutionalists or culturalists: What does production look like in LDCs? – Industrial networks – Neoclassical networks reconsidered – Case studies of networks – Shared ethnicity and social bonds limit trade – A sociological account – Summary
4. Accounting for characteristics: Evolutionary models – The problem with biological analogies for culture – A cultural model of preference transmission – Summary
5. A model of trustworthiness in production – The basic model – Steady state – Non-technical summary – Conclusions – Appendix: some proofs
6. The anatomy of development success and failure – Development and welfare – Modeling development – The effect of openness on steady states and welfare – A failure of development – Policy – Discussion of simplifying assumptions – Non-technical summary – Conclusions