IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

What Do You Know, Who Do You Know?: School as a Site for the Production of Social Capital and its Effects on Income Attainment in Poland and the Czech Republic


  • Karen Buerkle

    (University of California)

  • Alya Guseva

    (University of California)


This paper criticizes traditional approaches to stratification, which suggest that education contributes to inequality solely by endowing people with different amounts of human capital (knowledge and skills) or credentials. What these approaches overlook is the social component of education-friends, acquaintances and other connections one accumulates while in school. These connections reduce the uncertainty inherently present in the hiring process by compensating for lack of information with trust. We argue that social capital gained while in school has an independent effect on individual income, and show how this effect varies by education and experience levels. Conceptualizing schooling as an important source of social capital and finding ways to disentangle the effects of human and social capital on individual income are a contribution that economic sociologists can make to the study of education and inequality. Copyright 2002 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen Buerkle & Alya Guseva, 2002. "What Do You Know, Who Do You Know?: School as a Site for the Production of Social Capital and its Effects on Income Attainment in Poland and the Czech Republic," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 657-680, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:61:y:2002:i:3:p:657-680

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
    2. George A. Selgin & Lawrence H. White, 1994. "How Would the Invisible Hand Handle Money?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1718-1749, December.
    3. Douglass C. North, 2005. "Introduction to Understanding the Process of Economic Change," Introductory Chapters,in: Understanding the Process of Economic Change Princeton University Press.
    4. Hayek, F. A., 1996. "Individualism and Economic Order," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226320939.
    5. Selgin, George A, 1994. "On Ensuring the Acceptability of a New Fiat Money," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(4), pages 808-826, November.
    6. Hayek, F. A., 2018. "The Fatal Conceit," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226320663 edited by Bartley, III, W. W..
    7. Hay, Jonathan R & Shleifer, Andrei, 1998. "Private Enforcement of Public Laws: A Theory of Legal Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 398-403, May.
    8. Peter T. Leeson, 2006. "Self-Enforcing Arrangements and Heterogeneous Groups," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 891-907, October.
    9. Steve Pejovich, 2003. "Understanding the transaction costs of transition: it's the culture, stupid," ICER Working Papers 24-2003, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    10. Svetozar Pejovich, 2003. "Understanding the Transaction Costs of Transition: it's the Culture, Stupid," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 16(4), pages 347-361, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Seungjoo Lee & Changhui Kang, 2015. "Labor Market Effects of School Ties: Evidence from Graduates of Leveled High Schools in South Korea," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 31, pages 199-237.
    2. repec:dgr:rugsom:05c09 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bezemer, Dirk & Dulleck, Uwe & Frijters, Paul, 2005. "Social Capital, Creative Destruction and Economic Development," Research Report 05C09, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:61:y:2002:i:3:p:657-680. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.