A cross-country analysis of the relationship between income inequality and social capital
AbstractThis study investigated whether earnings inequality is associated with social capital as measured by active membership in organizations and interpersonal trust. Pearson product-moment correlation analysis showed that greater earnings inequality was associated with lower values on both measures of social capital in 14 European countries. While causality in either direction cannot be inferred from this result, it does suggest the possibility that earnings inequality negatively affects social capital. To test this idea further, we also tentatively examined whether other societal indicators related to earnings inequality are associated with social capital. These alternative indicatorsthe countrys percentage of urban residents, percentage of residents with tertiary education, and government spending as a percentage of GDPdid not show stronger relationships with social capital than did earnings inequality. Further analysis of the data by excluding specific groups of countries indicated little association between earnings inequality and measures of social capital. These results suggested that country-specific economic or cultural values play a large role in how earnings inequality and social capital are related.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) in its series ROA Technical Report with number 003.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- 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-2014-02-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CWA-2014-02-02 (Central & Western Asia)
- NEP-EUR-2014-02-02 (Microeconomic European Issues)
- NEP-PBE-2014-02-02 (Public Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2014-02-02 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Charles Bollen).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.