nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2005‒06‒27
two papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Externalities of social capital : the role of values, norms and networks By Butter, Frank A.G. den; Mosch, Robert H.J.
  2. Alcohol mortality, drinking behaviour, and business cycles: are slumps really dry seasons? By Petri Böckerman; Edvard Johansson; Ritva Prättälä; Antti Uutela

  1. By: Butter, Frank A.G. den (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Mosch, Robert H.J.
    Abstract: The economic perspective on values and norms shows that they may bring about externalities for the society as a whole. This possibility of market failure provides a good reason for the government to follow closely the developments in values and norms, and the resulting behaviour in communities and networks. It justifies the initiative of Prime Minister Balkenende to organise the debate on these matters in the Netherlands (and, under the Dutch EU-presidency, in Europe). Networks can be associated both with positive (Putnam type) and with negative (Olson type) externalities. This paper discusses the various influences of values, norms and networks on socio-economic welfare and provides empirical evidence on these relationships. The focus of our own empirical analysis is on the Netherlands. Trust as part of social capital, and the role that values, norms and networks play as co-ordination mechanism, form important aspects both in the theoretical and in the empirical analysis. It appears that there has been no obvious decrease in these aspects of social capital in the Netherlands. It contrasts the findings of Putnam for the US.
    Keywords: social capital; values and norms; trust; networks; market failure
    JEL: D62 D70 H19
    Date: 2004
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dgr:vuarem:2004-10&r=ltv
  2. By: Petri Böckerman (Labour Institute for Economic Research); Edvard Johansson (The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy); Ritva Prättälä (National Public Health Institute); Antti Uutela (National Public Health Institute)
    Abstract: This paper explores the connection between alcohol mortality, drinking behaviour and macroeconomic fluctuations in Finland by using both aggregate and micro-level data during the past few decades. The results from the aggregate data reveal that an improvement in regional economic conditions measured by the employment-to-population rate produces a decrease in alcohol mortality. However, the great slump of the early 1990s is an exception to this pattern. During that particular episode, alcohol mortality did indeed decline, as there was an unprecedented collapse in economic activity. The results from the micro-data show that an increase in the employment-to-population rate and expansion in regional GDP produces an increase in alcohol consumption while having no effect on the probability of being a drinker. All in all, the Finnish evidence presented does not overwhelmingly support the conclusions reported for the USA, according to which temporary economic slowdowns are good for health. In contrast, at least alcohol mortality seems to increase in those bad times that are not exceptional economic crises like the one experienced in the early 1990s. However, there is evidence that alcohol consumption is strongly procyclical by its nature. This suggests that alcohol consumption and mortality may be delinked in the short-run business cycle context.
    Keywords: alcohol mortality, drinking, business cycles
    JEL: E32 I12 R11
    Date: 2005–06–17
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0506002&r=ltv

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