Social Capital and the Family: Evidence that Strong Family Ties Cultivate Civic Virtues

Reprint No. 2015:3

Author(s): Martin LjungeYear: 2015 Title: Economica Volume (No.): 82 (325) Pages: 103–136
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version

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.

Ljunge, Martin (2015), "Social Capital and the Family: Evidence that Strong Family Ties Cultivate Civic Virtues". Economica 82(325), 103–136.

Martin Ljunge


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Elgar Companion to

Social Capital and Health

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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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