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Macro Measures And Mechanics of Social Capital

Luke Keele
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Luke Keele: Nuffield College & Oxford University

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Abstract: Interest in social capital has grown as it has become apparent that it is an important predictor of collective well-being. Recently, however, attention has shifted to how levels of social capital have changed over time. But focusing on how a society moves from one level of social capital to another over time requires better macro level measures.Better measures are required to test even basic hypotheses such as the establishing the direction of causality between the two components of social capital. In the following analysis, I develop macro measures of social capital through the development of longitudinal measures of civic engagement and interpersonal trust. I,then, use these measures to test a basic assumption about social capital. I, first, perform a direction of causality test to substantiate the causal direction between the two components of social capital. Second, I model civic engagement as a function of the time and monetary-related resources required for civic participation and interpersonal trust as a function of long term trends in civic engagement and a set of controls for collective experiences. The result is more than just the ¯rst over time measures of social capital, but also an increase in our understanding of social capital as a macro process with complex causes and effects.

Keywords: Social capital; social networks; trust (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: P Q Z (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-net and nep-soc
Date: 2005-11-03
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 28
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Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0511001

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