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Gender differences in social capital investment: Theory and evidence


  • Leeves, Gareth.D.
  • Herbert, Ric.


This paper analyses individual social capital investment by extending the investment model of Glaeser et al. (2002) to allow for differing types of social capital. A dynamic solution to the individual's maximisation problem illustrates differences in social capital investment dependent on the conversion factor of investment. An empirical section finds that females invest more and derive greater wellbeing from this type of social capital investment; consistent with a higher conversion factor. The findings have implications for the work–life balance policies within firms and provide another explanation for gender differences in earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Leeves, Gareth.D. & Herbert, Ric., 2014. "Gender differences in social capital investment: Theory and evidence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 377-385.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:37:y:2014:i:c:p:377-385 DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2013.11.030

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2009. "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 190-225, August.
    2. John F. Helliwell, 2006. "Well-Being, Social Capital and Public Policy: What's New?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages 34-45, March.
    3. Huang, Jian & Maassen van den Brink, Henriëtte & Groot, Wim, 2009. "A meta-analysis of the effect of education on social capital," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 454-464, August.
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    6. Bernard M. S. van Praag & Barbara E. Baarsma, 2005. "Using Happiness Surveys to Value Intangibles: The Case of Airport Noise," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 224-246, January.
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    8. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Fidrmuc, Jan & Gërxhani, Klarita, 2008. "Mind the gap! Social capital, East and West," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 264-286, June.
    10. Nicole M Fortin, 2005. "Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 416-438, Autumn.
    11. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-224, January.
    12. Clark, Andrew E., 1999. "Are wages habit-forming? evidence from micro data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 179-200, June.
    13. Steven N. Durlauf, 2002. "On the Empirics of Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 459-479, November.
    14. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, July.
    15. Shideler, David W. & Kraybill, David S., 2009. "Social capital: An analysis of factors influencing investment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 443-455, June.
    16. Daniel Z. Levin & Rob Cross, 2004. "The Strength of Weak Ties You Can Trust: The Mediating Role of Trust in Effective Knowledge Transfer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1477-1490, November.
    17. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Management Practices, Work--L ife Balance, and Productivity: A Review of Some Recent Evidence," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(4), pages 457-482, Winter.
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    More about this item


    Social capital; Investment; Non-market returns; Compensating differentials;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being


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