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Is social capital persistent?: comparative measurement in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

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  • Marta Felis Rota

Abstract

Recently, there has been a growing interest in social capital and in the difficulties related to its measurement. In this paper, we propose to measure social capital by means of principal components analysis. Then, we present the first available international social capital estimates for the nineteenth century. Our analysis is based on a nineteenth-century international database containing a wide range of socio-economic variables. Social capital indicators are constructed for the years 1870 and 1890. Interestingly enough, these indicators are comparable to mid-twentieth century social indicators. This allows us to study the evolution of social capital between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We can make observations about the persistence of the social capital indicator, discovering some exceptional trajectories. In the very long run, we find a significant change in the relative position of the European countries.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22315/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 22315.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:22315

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Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/
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