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Social Institutions as a Form of Intangible Capital

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  • Bansha Dulal, H.
  • Foa, R.

Abstract

In recent years there has been growing interest in including estimates of "intangible" capital, such as knowledge, skills, and institutions, in national asset accounting. In accordance with these efforts, this paper attempts to provide the first worldwide evaluations of "social" institutions, understood as the norms and networks that reduce transaction costs and enable collective action, as a proportion of national wealth. Using a new dataset that combines over 200 items from 25 sources, a composite of indices -- measuring intergroup cohesion, gender equity, the strength of local community, the extent of crime and interpersonal trust, and levels of civic engagement -- is formed and used to explain variance in the intangible capital residual, the proportion of national income that is left over after physical and natural capital have been accounted for. We show that social institutions are one of the main components of national wealth and a major productive asset for societies and their constituent communities around the world.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague in its series ISD Working Paper Series with number 2011-01.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ems:eurisd:26762

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Keywords: intangible capital; social institutions;

References

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  1. Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002. "Returns to investment in education : a further update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2881, The World Bank.
  2. Narayan, Deepa & Pritchett, Lant, 1999. "Cents and Sociability: Household Income and Social Capital in Rural Tanzania," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(4), pages 871-97, July.
  3. Ralph Chami & Connel Fullenkamp & Samir Jahjah, 2005. "Are Immigrant Remittance Flows a Source of Capital for Development?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(1), pages 55-81, April.
  4. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment Updates and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
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  7. Jason G. Cummins, 2003. "A New Approach to the Valuation of Intangible Capital," NBER Working Papers 9924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Simon Wigley & Arzu Akkoyunlu-Wigley, 2006. "Human Capabilities Versus Human Capital: Guaging the Value of Education in Developing Countries," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 78(2), pages 287-304, 09.
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  11. Andreas Savvides & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2006. "Economic development and the return to human capital: a smooth coefficient semiparametric approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 111-132.
  12. Roth,Felix & Thum, Anna-Elisabeth, 2010. "Does intangible capital affect economic growth?," CEPS Papers 3667, Centre for European Policy Studies.
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  14. World Bank & Asian Development Bank & United Nations Development Program, 2000. "Vietnam 2010 : Entering the 21st Century," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14977, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Huang, Y.L. & Cameron, J., 2012. "Granger inspired testing the ISDs for possible causal relationships," ISD Working Paper Series 2012-01, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.

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