Measuring social capital – Is there a single underlying explanation?
AbstractSocial capital has not been measured in any general way yet as previous surveys have used their own ad hoc methodologies. This fact is due to the heterogeneity of the very definition of social capital. Therefore, consensus concerning measurement has not yet been reached. Based on ten existing empirical approaches at the macro, meso and micro level, we inductively identify the four main variables observed this far. By applying principal components analysis, we show that four indicators measuring elements of social capital at the micro, meso and macro levels all powerfully load onto one single underlying component. However, the results from the analyses also show that Putnam’s Instrument is the variable that has the weakest association with the unitary measure of social capital and may constitute a second component.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 03-5.
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2003
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
Social capital; measurement; public policy; corruption; civic participation; generalised trust; principal component analysis;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
- C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
- D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2003-05-15 (All new papers)
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