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A meta-analysis of the effect of education on social capital

  • Huang, Jian
  • Maassen van den Brink, Henriëtte
  • Groot, Wim

To assess the empirical estimates of the effect of education on social trust and social participation - the basic dimensions of individual social capital - a meta-analysis is applied, synthesizing 154 evaluations on social trust, and 286 evaluations on social participation. The publication bias problem is given special emphasis in the meta-analysis. Our statistical synthesis confirms that education is a strong and robust correlate of individual social capital. The meta-analysis provides support for the existence of a relative effect of education on social participation, and of a reciprocity mechanism between the dimensions of social capital. The analysis also suggests that the erosion of social participation during the past decades has coincided with a decrease of the marginal return to education on social capital. Finally, we find differences in the return to education between genders, between US and other nations, and variations for different education attainments.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 454-464

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:28:y:2009:i:4:p:454-464
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 1999. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," NBER Working Papers 7155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Inequality And Group Participation: Theory And Evidence From Rural Tanzania," CEPR Discussion Papers 2433, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter & Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2000. "A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/Earnings Relationship, with Tests for Publication Bias," NBER Working Papers 7457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Jose A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 1999. "What is Social Capital? The Determinants of Trust and Trustworthiness," NBER Working Papers 7216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "The Determinants of Trust," NBER Working Papers 7621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Mahmud, Minhaj & Martinsson, Peter, 2005. "Does stake size matter in trust games?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 365-369, September.
  8. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
  9. Daniel Lederman, 2005. "Income Wealth, and Socialization in Argentina," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 42(125), pages 3-30.
  10. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 1999. "Education and Social Capital," NBER Working Papers 7121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Trust, Inequality, and Ethnic Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 511, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  12. Denice DiPasquale & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1815, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. Bruce Sacerdote & Edward L. Glaeser, 2001. "Education and Religion," NBER Working Papers 8080, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Charles Pattie & Patrick Seyd & Paul Whiteley, 2003. "Citizenship and Civic Engagement: Attitudes and Behaviour in Britain," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 51, pages 443-468, October.
  15. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "The Social Consequences of Housing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1915, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  17. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Kevin Milligan & Enrico Moretti & Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "Does Education Improve Citizenship? Evidence from the U.S. and the U.K," NBER Working Papers 9584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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