Measuring Social Capital in Italy. An Exploratory Analysis
AbstractThe aim of this paper is to trace a map of Italian local social capital endowments. It focuses on the “structural” dimension of the concept, as identified with social networks. The analysis is based on a dataset collected by the author including about two hundred indicators of five main social capital dimensions: strong family ties, weak informal ties, voluntary organizations, civic awareness, and political participation. 51 key variables are selected for performing principal component analyses both on each of the five groups and on the entire dataset, in order to build latent indicators for every single social capital’s dimension and for the concept as a whole. Finally, a multiple factor analysis is run on the entire dataset, in search of a single synthetic measure of social capital. A clear distinction emerges between bonding social capital, shaped by strong family ties, and bridging and linking social capital, shaped by weak ties among friends, neighboors and members in voluntary organizations. Areas characterized by high levels of bonding social capital can suffer from a lack of bridging and linking ties. The study provides a valuable synthetic indicator capturing the particular configuration of social capital which the literature generally associates with positive economic outcomes.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0504003.
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 11 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 45. Third Sector and Civil Economy Working Paper Series, No. 12 (April 2005), University of Bologna, Faculty of Economics.
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Social capital; Social networks; Economic development; Principal component analysis; Multiple factor analysis;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
- O10 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
- O18 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
- R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-04-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2005-04-16 (European Economics)
- NEP-GEO-2005-04-16 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-POL-2005-04-16 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-URE-2005-04-16 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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