The empirics of social capital and economic development: a critical perspective
Additional contact information
Fabio Sabatini: University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics
Development and Comp Systems from EconWPA
This paper provides an introduction to the concept of social capital, and carries out a critical review of the empirical literature on social capital and economic development. The survey points out six main weaknesses affecting the empirics of social capital. Identified weaknesses are then used to analyze, in a critical perspective, some prominent empirical studies and new interesting researches published in last two years. The need emerges to acknowledge, also within the empirical research, the multidimensional, context-dependent and dynamic nature of social capital. The survey also underlines that, although it has gained a certain popularity in the empirical research, the use of “indirect” indicators may be misleading. Such measures do not represent social capital’s key components identified by the theoretical literature, and their use causes a considerable confusion about what social capital is, as distinct from its outcomes, and what the relationship between social capital and its outcomes may be. Research reliant upon an outcome of social capital as an indicator of it will necessarily find social capital to be related to that outcome. This paper suggests to focus the empirical research firstly on the “structural” aspects of the concept, therefore excluding by the measurement toolbox all indicators referring to social capital’s supposed outcomes.
Keywords: Social capital; Social networks; Trust; Economic development; Relation of economics to other disciplines; Relation of economics to social values (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O P (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 30
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0512008
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Development and Comp Systems from EconWPA
Series data maintained by EconWPA ().