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The effects of community social capital on school performance: A spatial approach

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  • Misra, Kaustav
  • Grimes, Paul W.
  • Rogers, Kevin E.

Abstract

The influence of social capital on economic activities has been a central theme in the literature for quite a long time, but the relationship between social connectedness and school choice has not been addressed. If the primary objective of social capital is to create cohesiveness through the connectivity of community members, then it is clear that parents’ school choice decisions are influenced by the groups or organizations to which they belong. Ni (2007) argues that parents’ decisions not only influence students’ academic performance, but also affect school expenditures. Thus, it is worthwhile to investigate the effect of social capital on school performance. The measurement of social capital has been debated for a long time. In this paper we create a geographically bounded community around schools in Mississippi employing GIS instead of following the commonly used political boundaries such as school district or county to measure social capital. Then we estimate the social capital stock for each school to analyze the relationship between the school's performance and existing social capital. Data were collected from the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NRCRD) and the Mississippi Department of Education for the academic year 2005–2006. We find that schools located in communities with a higher stock of social capital significantly outperform those with relatively low levels of social capital. The results also suggest that students’ race and socio-economic status significantly reduce primary school performance, holding all else equal. This research helps to understand the importance of social capital from spatial perspectives and will guide policy makers in future resource allocations.

Suggested Citation

  • Misra, Kaustav & Grimes, Paul W. & Rogers, Kevin E., 2013. "The effects of community social capital on school performance: A spatial approach," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 106-111.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:42:y:2013:i:c:p:106-111
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2012.11.011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. de la Grandville,Olivier, 2009. "Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521725200, December.
    2. Thomas S. Dee, 2004. "Teachers, Race, and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 195-210, February.
    3. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, 2008. "Sense in sociability? Maternal education, social capital and child schooling in rural Bangladesh," The European Journal of Development Research, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 482-496.
    4. de la Grandville,Olivier, 2009. "Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521898010, December.
    5. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    6. Misra, Kaustav & Grimes, Paul W. & Rogers, Kevin E., 2012. "Does competition improve public school efficiency? A spatial analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1177-1190.
    7. Dee, Thomas S., 1998. "Competition and the quality of public schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 419-427, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ferguson, Neil T.N. & Michaelsen, Maren M., 2015. "Money changes everything? Education and regional deprivation revisited," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 129-147.
    2. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2014. "Online and offline social participation and social poverty traps. Can social networks save human relations?," MPRA Paper 55703, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social capita; Spatial analysis; Education;

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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