Banfield or Wilson? Evidence on family ties and civic virtues

Martin Ljunge, University of Copenhagen

Are family ties a complement to or a substitute for social capital? 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 individuals. This contradicts notions of `amoral familism' which argue that strong families promote parochial values and the narrow family interest.

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Presented in Session 97: Family and gender issues