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2012 Documento de Trabajo #293

Participation in Organizations, Trust, and Social Capital Formation: Evidence from Chile

This paper introduces an ordinal rational choice model for multiple kinds of social participation intensities to empirically investigate the relevance of several theoretical determinants of formation of Social Capital (SC) introduced in the literature. The framework is rich enough to investigate the importance of demographic individual variables, social/peer effects interactions, endogenous trust, and politico-institutional factors as sources of participation. Using Chilean data, we find that politico-institutional factors are jointly important to account for SC formation, as well as social interactions. Trusting community is a highly significant factor behind political participation and non-participation in religious activities. In addition, there are clear interrelated decisions among different kinds of participation. The evidence shows that SC formation is a multidimensional complex process, as advocated by prevailing theories in the literature.

Patricio Valdivieso
Benjamín Villena-Roldan

Keywords: Institutions, IV Ordered Probit, Participation, Social Capital, Trust