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Working paper

Social Capital and Attitudes towards Money

Tatarko A., Schmidt P.
The objective of this research was to assess the mechanism through which the individual level components of social capital, that is, individuals‘ levels of trust, tolerance and civic identity affect their economic behavior. The sample of the study included 634 respondents aged 20 to 59. A structural equation model relating social capital with economic attitudes was specified and tested controlling for age, gender and education. We found that higher levels of individual social capital were associated with adverse monetary attitudes. Attitudes toward money as a means of influence and protection and the desire to accumulate it reflect a personal sense of dependency on money and lead to constant concern about it. A greater social capital, by providing social support that serves as an alternative source of security, influence, and protection, may reduce this dependence on money. An important finding of our research has been that the component of social capital that correlated most frequently and strongly with monetary attitudes, was civic identity. Generally, based on our findings we propose that the negative association between monetary attitudes and individual level social capital suggests that, when social capital decreases, people try to compensate by accumulating financial capital.