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Social Capital, Public Spending and the Quality of Economic Development: The Case of Italy

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  • Fabio Sabatini

    (University of Rome La Sapienza)

Abstract

This paper carries out an empirical assessment of the relationship between social capital and the quality of economic development in Italy. The analysis draws on a dataset collected by the author including about two hundred variables representing different aspects of economic development and four “structural” dimensions of social capital. The quality of development is measured through human development and indicators of the state of health of urban ecosystems, public services, gender equality, and labour markets, while social capital is measured through synthetic indicators representing strong family ties, weak informal ties, voluntary organizations, and political participation. The quality of development exhibits a strong positive correlation with bridging weak ties and a negative correlation with strong family ties. Particularly, the analysis shows a strong correlation between informal ties and an indicator of “social well-being” (synthesizing gender equality, public services and labour markets) and between voluntary organizations and the state of health of urban ecosystems. Active political participation proves to be irrelevant in terms of development and well-being. Finally, the role of public spending for education, health care, welfare work, and the environment protection is analysed, revealing a scarce correlation both with social capital and development indicators.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2006.14.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2006.14

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Keywords: Social capital; Social networks; Public spending; Economic development; Human development; Principal component analysis;

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References

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  1. Kormendi, Roger C. & Meguire, Philip G., 1985. "Macroeconomic determinants of growth: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 141-163, September.
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  6. repec:fth:oxesaf:97-2.1 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Angelo Antoci & Pier Luigi Sacco & Paolo Vanin, 2001. "Economic Growth and Social Poverty: The Evolution of Social Participation," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse13_2001, University of Bonn, Germany.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  9. Torsvik, G., 2000. "Social Capital and Economic Development," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 216, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
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  11. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543, December.
  12. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Resources for the Study of Social Capital," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 198-198, April.
  13. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding the American Decline in Social Capital, 1952--1998," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 17-46, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Fabio, Sabatini, 2007. "Social capital, social enterprises, public spending and well-being in Italy
    [Capitale sociale, imprese sociali, spesa pubblica e benessere sociale in Italia]
    ," MPRA Paper 2365, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Social capital as social networks. A new framework for measurement," Working Papers 83, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  3. Fabio Sabatini, 2007. "Mapping Italy’s social capital," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 1, March.
  4. Tuba Cekic, 2011. "Redefining Turkey's Regional Economic Disparities Through Social Participation," ERSA conference papers ersa11p184, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Coffé, Hilde & Geys, Benny, 2006. "Towards an empirical characterization of bridging and bonding social capital," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2006-11, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  6. Ferrante, Francesco & Sabatini, Fabio, 2007. "Education, social capital and entrepreneurial selection in Italy," MPRA Paper 2451, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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