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By Francisco Herreros (auth.)

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Extra resources for The Problem of Forming Social Capital: Why Trust?

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Unfortunately for the boss, he cannot directly observe if his henchman has fulfilled his duty as a good hood. Nevertheless, he can observe an outcome that can help him decide if his hood is loyal or not. The probability of the shopkeeper going to the police is denoted by a nature’s move, in which the higher branch indicates that he has actually gone to the police, and the lower branch, that he has not gone. The boss is not very worried about this probability, because he lives in a community characterized by the practical absence of social capital, one of the unpleasant effects of which is a corrupt police force.

This statement can be interpreted as proof of Chamberlain’s lack of intelligence, or of his naivete. Yet he was not naive in his dealings with the British labor movement, although he might not be considered a particularly outstanding politician. His trust in Hitler can in fact be explained in a different way. He might have thought that Britain was unprepared for war. In other words, that he could not afford the consequences that Hitler, after all, was untrustworthy. Given that this conclusion was too dreadful, he decided that the fascist dictator was trustworthy.

But they also have the power to sanction their employees (from small pecuniary sanctions to dismissal) if they can prove that the employees have not done their work. Although this does not fully eliminate his information problem, his power to sanction his hierarchical inferiors is a guarantee of trust. This is true, but my contention is that they are more or less similar in the relevant sense for my arguments. That is, if it can be claimed that hierarchical voluntary organizations are also plagued with asymmetries in power and information, then this would be enough to meet my arguments.

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