Rational Foundation of Social Capital and Trust

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:00-17:30
Location: Hörsaal 27 (Main Building)
RC45 Rational Choice (host committee)

Language: English

Social capital and mutual trust behaviour are related concepts in social research, both at the level of interpersonal relations and at the macro level. At the micro level trust is a condition and an outcome of social capital (SC). At the societal level surveys on generalized or systemic trust have been used as proxies of SC (Putnam). 
Rational choice is double-faced in the study of social capital. It becomes an explanatory variable when the creation of social capital is studied. Social capital is not necessarily assumed to be given. Parents of high-school students try to get to know each other at PTA (parent-teacher association) meetings to create bonding social capital. Entrepreneurs strategically try to create social networks that do not have redundant ties. 
Rational choice also becomes a dependent variable. As mentioned above, social capital affects actor’s behavior. However, it does not completely determine the behavior. There is room for actors to make rational choices under the constraints of social capital. Even in the study of entrepreneurs (Burt) there is a difference in returns among those who have the same level of bridging social capital. The difference could be attributed to differences in rational choices among them. Trust, reputation and trustworthiness are concepts that have long challenged rational choice theory, because they imply emotional involvement and cannot be analysed only in terms of risk taking as an estimation of the chance of being betrayed. 

The recent interest in these issues has developed different levels of analysis, different implications for the study of social capital, and different technical tools (i.e. theoretical studies on conceptual clarification, ethnographic observation, game-theory applications, experiments, traditional survey approaches).
The aim of the session is to gather different approaches to the study of the double dynamic between rational choice/social capital and rational choice/trust-trustworthiness and discuss the state of the art in the field. Both theoretical and empirical papers are welcome, as well as qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Session Organizer:
Yoshimichi SATO, Tohoku University, Japan
Trust in Community and Free Rider
Kazuto MISUMI, Kyushu University, Japan
Social Trust and Demand for Redistribution. Is There a Crowding out Effect?
Antonio M. JAIME-CASTILLO, University of Malaga, Spain
Institutional Conditions for the Creation of Moralistic Trust
Hiroko OSAKI, Seikei University, Japan; Tatsuro SAKANO, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
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