Investigating social capital in Colombia: Conflict and public good contributions

Produced by: 
Toulouse School of Economics
Available from: 
January 2014
Paper author(s): 
Astrid Hopfensitz
Josepa Miquel-Florensa
Education and Health
Fiscal Policy, Public and Welfare Economics

Due to its long-lasting internal armed conflict, Colombia has witnessed a rupture in social networks. The network composition was altered for municipalities with high in- or out-flows of displaced individuals, in addition to the individual impact on the displaced. We use a controlled laboratory experiment and questionnaires to measure the impact of displacement on public good contributions at the Colombian ‘Eje Cafetero’. Abstract public good contributions are related to actual community involvement and observed to be significantly higher in regions with a history of high pressure or intensity of displacement. Contributions are particularly high by vulnerable individuals in high out-flow areas (e.g. women). A local control institution can further increase contributions, independent of the individuals’ personal preference for such control.


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