I establish a positive relationship between family ties and civic virtues, as captured by disapproval of tax and benefit cheating, corruption and a range of other dimensions of exploiting others for personal gain. I find that family ties are a complement to social capital, using within-country evidence from 83 nations and data on second-generation immigrants in 29 countries. Strong families cultivate Universalist values and produce more civic and altruistic individuals. The results provide a constructive role for families in promoting family values, which challenge an ‘amoral familism’. Moreover, strong families are complementary with more developed and democratic institutions.
Social Capital and the Family: Evidence that Strong Family Ties Cultivate Civic Virtues