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The Impact of Social Capital on Labor Force Participation: Evidence from the 2000 Social Capital Benchmark Survey


  • Michael Bernabé Aguilera


Objectives. Few studies apply the concept of social capital to labor force participation. In this research, I study the relationship between friendship networks and labor force participation as represented by employment and hours worked. Methods. I test five hypotheses representing social capital with network structure, network quality, and network diversity using nationally representative data from the 2000 Social Capital Benchmark Survey. Since this survey enables comparisons across racial/ethnic and gender groups, I am also able to specify how social capital interacts with race/ethnicity and gender to influence labor force participation, while controlling for other prominent theoretical concerns such as human capital theory. Results. I find that friendship networks are generally positively related with increased labor force participation. Further, I find significant social capital differences based on race/ethnicity and gender. Conclusions. I illustrate that social capital can be applied across a broader racial/ethnic/gender spectrum. The findings suggest that programs that attempt to bring valuable labor market information to individuals and communities lacking employment–related information are likely to be effective in reducing inequality, especially if combined with programs for developing human capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Bernabé Aguilera, 2002. "The Impact of Social Capital on Labor Force Participation: Evidence from the 2000 Social Capital Benchmark Survey," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 83(3), pages 853-874, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:socsci:v:83:y:2002:i:3:p:853-874

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    Cited by:

    1. Senne, Jean-Noel & Chort, Isabelle & Gubert, Flore, 2011. "Migrant Networks as a Basis for Social Control : Remittance Obligations among Senegalese in France and Italy," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 73, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    2. F. Pericoli & E. Pierucci & L. Ventura, 2015. "The impact of social capital on consumption insurance and income volatility in the UK: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 269-295, June.
    3. Höhne, Jutta & Koopmans, Ruud, 2010. "Host-country cultural capital and labour market trajectories of migrants in Germany: The impact of host-country orientation and migrant-specific human and social capital on labour market transitions," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Migration, Integration, Transnationalization SP IV 2010-701, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    4. Brady, Gerard, 2013. "Network social capital and labour market outcomes Evidence from Ireland," MPRA Paper 47391, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0536 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Chort, Isabelle & Gubert, Flore & Senne, Jean-Noël, 2012. "Migrant networks as a basis for social control: Remittance incentives among Senegalese in France and Italy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 858-874.
    7. Jae Young Lee & David R. Bell, 2013. "Neighborhood Social Capital and Social Learning for Experience Attributes of Products," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(6), pages 960-976, November.
    8. Schaffner, Sandra & Treude, Barbara, 2014. "The Effect of Ethnic Clustering on Migrant Integration in Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 536, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    9. Gerard Brady, 2015. "Network Social Capital and Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence For Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 46(2), pages 163-195.
    10. Hwei‐Lin Chuang & Ning Hsieh & Eric S. Lin, 2010. "Labour Market Activity Of Foreign Spouses In Taiwan: Employment Status And Choice Of Employment Sector," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 505-531, October.
    11. Margaret Ralston & Xavier Escandell, 2012. "Networks Matter: Male Mexican Migrants’ Use of Hospitals," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(3), pages 321-337, June.
    12. Juliet Pietsch, 2017. "Diverse Outcomes: Social Citizenship and the Inclusion of Skilled Migrants in Australia," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 5(1), pages 32-44.
    13. Benjamin Schulz & Lars Leszczensky, 2016. "Native Friends and Host Country Identification among Adolescent Immigrants in Germany: The Role of Ethnic Boundaries," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 163-196, March.
    14. repec:bla:intmig:v:51:y:2017:i:1:p:67-96 is not listed on IDEAS

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