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Social Capital, Public Spending and the Quality of Economic Development

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  • Fabio Sabatini

    (University of Rome La Sapienza)

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    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” (synthetizing 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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    File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/othr/papers/0506/0506014.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Others with number 0506014.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: 29 Jun 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0506014

    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 33. Please contact the author to request tables, technical notes and the original dataset
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    Web page: http://128.118.178.162

    Related research

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

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    1. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
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    14. James L. Heckman, 1999. "Causal Parameters and Policy Analysis in Economcs: A Twentieth Century Retrospective," NBER Working Papers 7333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Lawn, Philip A. & Sanders, Richard D., 1999. "Has Australia surpassed its optimal macroeconomic scale? Finding out with the aid of 'benefit' and 'cost' accounts and a sustainable net benefit index," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 213-229, February.
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    19. Sabatini, Fabio, 2005. "Measuring Social Capital in Italy: An Exploratory Analysis," AICCON Working Papers 12-2005, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
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    21. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Measuring Social Capital in Italy. An Exploratory Analysis," Development and Comp Systems 0504003, EconWPA.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. 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).
    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. 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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