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Considering the Role of Social Capital for Economic Development Outcomes in U.S. Counties

Listed author(s):
  • Michele Hoyman
  • Jamie McCall
  • Laurie Paarlberg
  • John Brennan
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    The authors examine major aspects of the connection between social capital and economic development in U.S. counties. They test the conclusions of Putnam, who saw associations as a force for positive development, and Olson, who concluded the opposite. The authors find that Putnam organizations have a negative effect on income, while Olson organizations have a positive effect by decreasing levels of income inequality. Drawing on the literature distinguishing between bridging versus bonding, the authors show that bridging capital has a positive effect on development by increasing per capita income, while bonding capital has a neutral effect on both per capita income and income inequality. Finally, religious variables are tested for their relationship with economic development. Overall, congregation density has a negative influence by increasing per capita income and income inequality, controlling for geographic type. Congregations with bridging characteristics have a mixed effect on development by decreasing income and decreasing inequality.

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    Article provided by in its journal Economic Development Quarterly.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2016)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 342-357

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:30:y:2016:i:4:p:342-357
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