Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 406: Regional Economic Development, Social Capital and Governance: A Comparative Institutional Analysis France - Sweden

Charlie Karlsson () and Philippe Rouchy ()
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Charlie Karlsson: Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS), Jönköping International Business School & Blekinge Institute of Technology
Philippe Rouchy: Blekinge Institute of Technology

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to consider how social capital enhance or hamper regional economic development due to governance systems. To answer this question, we take a comparative institutional perspective between France and Sweden based on OECD regional outlook indicators. It comprises 1- a comparison of both countries regional and municipal governances; 2- a definition of social capital as a social utility function of region or localities, i.e. their “social atmosphere”. 3- A comparison of the participation rate in interest groups in both countries indicating a propensity to collaborate with institutions. The result of the paper shows a differential intensity of participation to interest groups between France and Sweden and an effect of local political institutions on countries’ “social atmosphere”. In conclusion, we show differential values between France and Sweden in terms of political ethics supporting the formation of social capital. We suggest policy implication to increase entrepreneurial solution in civil society.

Keywords: Comparative Institutional Analysis; Regional Development; Social Capital; Governance; Interest Groups; Public Choice; Cooperation

JEL-codes: A14; B25; D70; O17; P48; R11; R58

41 pages, May 21, 2015

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