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Poulsen, A., Svendsen, G. T. (2005). Social Capital and Endogenous Preferences. Public Choice 123 (1), 171-196

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.


Poulsen, Anders

I am a Senior Lecturer in Economics in the School of Economics at UEA. I obtained my Ph.D. from the University of Essex. I am a member of the centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science at UEA and affiliate researcher at the Centre for Experimental Economics, at the University of...

Svendsen, Gert T.

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