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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. 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.
  2. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Using Expectations Data to Study Subjective Income Expectations," NBER Working Papers 4937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  5. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
  6. William A. Brock & Steven N.Durlauf, 2000. "Growth Economics and Reality," NBER Working Papers 8041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Canova, Fabio, 1999. "Testing for Convergence Clubs in Income per-capita: A Predictive Density Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 2201, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  9. Steven N. Durlauf & Danny T. Quah, 1998. "The New Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 6422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2001. "Social Capital and Community Governance," Working Papers 01-01-003, Santa Fe Institute.
  11. Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Bowling alone : a review essay," Working papers 29, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (Bace) Approach," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 266, OECD Publishing.
  16. 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.
  17. Desdoigts, Alain, 1999. " Patterns of Economic Development and the Formation of Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 305-30, September.
  18. 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.
  19. Durlauf, S.N. & Johnson, P.A., 1994. "Multiple Regimes and Cross-Country Growth Behavior," Working papers 9419, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  20. 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.
  21. Manski, C.F., 1989. "The Use Of Intentions Data To Predict Behaviour : A Best- Case Analysis," Working papers 8905, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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