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The importance of
social capital for a
green economy
Stefano Bartolini
University of Siena
Prosperity and happiness
«Life is plenty of
things that are
more important
than money.
The problem is
that they are
extremely
expensive»
GDP and happiness, US, 1946-1996

The Easterlin paradox
The decline in US social capital
The trends of the various indicators document:
• An increase in: loneliness, sense of iso...
Moreover: US work hours increased in
the last decades

Source: Rogerson 2008
Why do Americans work more?
Bartolini and Bilancini (2011, GSS data, 1972-2004) show that:
• Being poor in relational good...
Relational poverty as a cause of economic growth
The Negative Endogenous Growth (NEG)
(Bartolini and Bonatti JE 2003, JEBO...
Private
wealth
Common
poverty
Relational poverty
The decline of life satisfaction in China

Source: Bartolini and Sarracino 2013, WVS data
The decline of life satisfaction in India

Source: Bartolini and Sarracino 2013, WVS data
Therapies:
Policies for Social Capital
How can we build an economy and a society that are
more attentive to the relational...
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The importance of social capital for a green economy

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A presentation held by Stefano Bartolini
at the Green Economy Workshop in Stockholm 10-11/2 2014.

Published in: Economy & Finance
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The importance of social capital for a green economy

  1. 1. The importance of social capital for a green economy Stefano Bartolini University of Siena
  2. 2. Prosperity and happiness
  3. 3. «Life is plenty of things that are more important than money. The problem is that they are extremely expensive»
  4. 4. GDP and happiness, US, 1946-1996 The Easterlin paradox
  5. 5. The decline in US social capital The trends of the various indicators document: • An increase in: loneliness, sense of isolation, instability of families, generational cleavages, mistrust • A decrese in: social contacts, honesty, solidarity, social participation, civic engagement
  6. 6. Moreover: US work hours increased in the last decades Source: Rogerson 2008
  7. 7. Why do Americans work more? Bartolini and Bilancini (2011, GSS data, 1972-2004) show that: • Being poor in relational goods causes longer work hours • The reason is that individuals turn to work and money to compensate for poor relational conditions • Those poor in time develop poor relations • This is a vicious circle. Relational poverty causes time poverty and the latter causes relational poverty
  8. 8. Relational poverty as a cause of economic growth The Negative Endogenous Growth (NEG) (Bartolini and Bonatti JE 2003, JEBO 2008) We can defend ourselves from the deterioration of relational and environmental goods by purchasing some goods To finance these defensive expenditures we must work and produce more. That is to say, we must increase the GDP Economic growth, however, may cause the deterioration of relational and environmental goods NEG is a vicious circle: environmental and relational deterioration fuel economic growth which in turn feeds deterioration NEG is undesirable from the viewpoint of well-being. Private wealth is fueled by the deterioration of the common goods.
  9. 9. Private wealth
  10. 10. Common poverty
  11. 11. Relational poverty
  12. 12. The decline of life satisfaction in China Source: Bartolini and Sarracino 2013, WVS data
  13. 13. The decline of life satisfaction in India Source: Bartolini and Sarracino 2013, WVS data
  14. 14. Therapies: Policies for Social Capital How can we build an economy and a society that are more attentive to the relational aspects of life? It is necessary and possible to change our: • Cities • Media • Work • Schools • Health system • Democracy • Culture

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