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Bartolini, S., Bilancini, E. (2011). Social Participation and Hours Worked. Department of Economics University of Siena Working Paper No. 620

We investigate the relationship between social participation and the hours worked in the market. Social participation is the component of social capital that measures individuals’ engament in groups, associations and non-governmental organizations. We provide a model of consumer choice where social participation may be either a substitute or a complement to material consumption – depending on whether participation is instrumentally or non-instrumentally motivated – and where a local environment with greater social participation increases the return to individual participation. We carry out an empirical investigation of this framework using survey data on United States for the period 1972-2004. We find that non-instrumental social participation substantially decreases the hours worked, while instrumental social participation substantially increases them. Moreover, evidence is consistent with the idea that a local environment with greater social participation fosters individual social participation.

Authors

Bartolini, Stefano

We live in rich countries and that has allowed us to resolve many problems. We have freed ourselves of mass poverty, we have access to consumer goods, to education, health care, we live longer and better etc. Regardless of this many of us seem to live in a state of uneasiness and malaise. Our...

Bilancini, Ennio

Ennio Bilancini is Assistant Professor in Economics at the Department of Economics of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.

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