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Social Capital and Economic Growth: A Meta-Analysis

Xindong Xue, W. Reed () and Robbie C.M. van Aert

Working Papers in Economics from University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance

Abstract: This study collects and analyses 993 estimates from 81 studies to generate an overall assessment of the empirical literature on social capital and economic growth. Using a variety of estimation procedures, we reach the following conclusions. First, there is evidence that a meaningful relationship exists between social capital and economic growth. The estimated sizes of the overall mean effect in our specifications range from somewhat larger than “small” to somewhat larger than “medium” depending on the estimation method we use. Second, our analysis does not indicate that the associated empirical literature is distorted by publication bias. Third, there is evidence to indicate that cognitive social capital (e.g., trust) has a larger effect on economic growth than other types of social capital, though the evidence is not strong. Finally, while the coefficient signs of our meta-regression analysis lined up with prior expectations, the associated effect sizes were generally small to negligible.

Keywords: Social capital; Economic growth; Cognitive social capital; Structural social capital; Meta-analysis; Meta-regression; Publication Bias (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B40 O31 O40 O47 R11 Z10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 44 pages
Date: 2022-12-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gro and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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Working Paper: Social Capital and Economic Growth: A Meta-Analysis (2023) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cbt:econwp:22/20

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