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On the Empirics of Social Capital

  • Steven N. Durlauf

    (University of Wisconsin)

This paper critically examines the way in which empirical evidence is developed in support of a role for social capital in socioeconomic outcomes. Three leading studies of social capital are reviewed and in each case argued to suffer from various identification problems. A general set of conditions under which social capital effects may be identified in linear models is given. Careful attention to these conditions combined with greater openmindedness as to what constitutes appropriate evidence seems the best route to improving empirical studies of social capital. Copyright Royal Economic Society 2002

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 112 (2002)
Issue (Month): 483 (November)
Pages: 459-479

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:483:p:459-479
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  1. Durlauf, Steven N & Johnson, Paul A, 1995. "Multiple Regimes and Cross-Country Growth Behaviour," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 365-84, Oct.-Dec..
  2. Steven N. Durlauf & Danny T. Quah, 1998. "The New Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 6422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  4. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2001. "Social Capital and Community Governance," Working Papers 01-01-003, Santa Fe Institute.
  5. Fabio Canova, 1997. "Testing for convergence clubs in income per-capita: A predictive density approach," Economics Working Papers 404, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 1999.
  6. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N., 2001. "Interactions-based models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 54, pages 3297-3380 Elsevier.
  7. Narayan, Deepa & Pritchett, Lant, 1997. "Cents and sociability : household income and social capital in rural Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1796, The World Bank.
  8. Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Bowling alone : a review essay," Working papers 29, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  9. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
  10. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  11. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Growth economics and reality," Working papers 24, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  12. Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," NBER Working Papers 7750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark F. J. Steel, 2001. "Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 563-576.
  14. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Using Expectations Data to Study Subjective Income Expectations," Econometrics 9411003, EconWPA.
  15. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  16. Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "The memberships theory of poverty : the role of group affiliations in determining socioeconomic outcomes," Working papers 14, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  17. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
  18. Desdoigts, Alain, 1999. " Patterns of Economic Development and the Formation of Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 305-30, September.
  19. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 1995. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Italy," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 295-307, Summer.
  20. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846, August.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  21. James J. Heckman, 2000. "Causal Parameters And Policy Analysis In Economics: A Twentieth Century Retrospective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 45-97, February.
  22. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  23. Manski, C.F., 1989. "The Use Of Intentions Data To Predict Behaviour : A Best- Case Analysis," Working papers 8905, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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