Authors: Irene Bertana; Luca Corazzini
Addresses: University of Turin, via Verdi, 8, 10124 Torino, Italy ' Department of Law Science and History of Institutions, University of Messina, P.zza XX Settembre, 4, 98122, Messina, Italy
Abstract: By building on the existing literature of social capital and ethics in economics, we present a stylised theoretical framework of civil society and solidarity economy that is based on three main assumptions: 1) agents voluntary engage in civil (economic) activities that maximise the community welfare (we-rationality); 2) the higher the engagement of initial pioneers, the more cooperation is likely to spread in the society (social reciprocity); 3) wide-spread trust is a co-product of the virtuous diffusion of cooperative behaviours and its existence represents an important factor of economic growth. The second part of the paper focuses on the innovative project of solidarity economy in Latin America as a valid empirical application of the distinguished characteristics of the concept of civil society in the economic sphere.
Keywords: civil society; solidarity economy; Latin America; social capital; ethics; community welfare; cooperation; social reciprocity; trust; economic growth.
International Journal of Happiness and Development, 2015 Vol.2 No.3, pp.269 - 284
Published online: 02 Oct 2015 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article