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Social Capital and Economic Performance: A Meta-analysis of 65 Studies

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  • Hans Westlund
  • Frane Adam

Abstract

This paper summarizes 15 years of empirical research at various spatial levels on social capital and economic performance. On the firm level, results are unambiguous: there is strong evidence of the impact of social capital on firms' performance. However, the results become less clear for spatial units with a large number of anonymous actors. The contradictory results of studies on national and regional levels can be explained in part by insufficient measures of the main component parts of social capital: social networks and the norms and values distributed among them. To develop measures for values like creativity, entrepreneurship and tolerance, and to find better measures for social networks, are the main challenges to future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Westlund & Frane Adam, 2009. "Social Capital and Economic Performance: A Meta-analysis of 65 Studies," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(6), pages 893-919, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eurpls:v:18:y:2009:i:6:p:893-919
    DOI: 10.1080/09654311003701431
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Asia," NBER Working Papers 5470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. M. Dakhli & D. De Clercq, 2003. "Human Capital, Social Capital and Innovation: A Multi-Country Study," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 03/211, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "The Economic Approach to Social Capital," NBER Working Papers 7728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:spr:adspsc:978-3-540-35366-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz, 2005. "Institutions, Social Capital, and Economic Development in Africa: An Empirical Study," ICER Working Papers 18-2005, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    6. Bat Batjargal, 2000. "Social Capital and Entrepreneurial Performance in Russia: A Panel Study," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 352, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    7. Ahlerup, Pelle & Olsson, Ola & Yanagizawa, David, 2007. "Social Capital vs Institutions in the Growth Process," Working Papers in Economics 248, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    8. Johnson, Nancy & Suarez , Ruth & Lundy, Mark, 2002. "The importance of social capital in Colombian rural agro-enterprises:," CAPRi working papers 26, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2014. "The Effect of Regional Entrepreneurship Culture on Economic Development - Evidence for Germany," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1411, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Apr 2014.
    2. Corbacho, Ana & Philipp, Julia & Ruiz-Vega, Mauricio, 2015. "Crime and Erosion of Trust: Evidence for Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 400-415.
    3. Liang, Qiao & Huang, Zuhui & Lu, Haiyang & Wang, Xinxin, 2015. "Social Capital, Member Participation, and Cooperative Performance: Evidence from China’s Zhejiang," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 18(1).
    4. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2015. "The Persistence of Regional Entrepreneurship - Are all types of Self-Employment Equally Important?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-008, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    5. Wesley Mendes-da-Silva, 2011. "Small Worlds and Board Interlocking in Brazil: A Longitudinal Study of Corporate Networks, 1997-2007," Brazilian Review of Finance, Brazilian Society of Finance, vol. 9(4), pages 465-492.
    6. Laurence Saglietto & Delphine David & Cécile Cézanne, 2013. "Étendue du capital social : une proposition de mesures opérationnelles," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(3), pages 177-204.
    7. repec:hig:wpaper:63/soc/2015 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Roman Martin, 2013. "Differentiated Knowledge Bases and the Nature of Innovation Networks," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(9), pages 1418-1436, September.
    9. Lin, Tao & Wang, Donggen, 2014. "Social networks and joint/solo activity–travel behavior," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 18-31.
    10. Hall, Stephen G & Ahmad, Mahyudin, 2013. "Can Trust Explain Social Capital Effect on Property Rights and Growth?," MPRA Paper 48440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2016. "Does persistence in start-up activity reflect persistence in social capital?," Chapters,in: Handbook of Social Capital and Regional Development, chapter 4, pages 82-107 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Hans Westlund & Johan P. Larsson & Amy Rader Olsson, 2014. "Start-ups and Local Entrepreneurial Social Capital in the Municipalities of Sweden," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(6), pages 974-994, June.
    13. Marta Portela & Isabel Neira, 2011. "Social Capital and growth in the European Regions," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1160, European Regional Science Association.
    14. Hans WESTLUND & Malin GAWELL, 2012. "Building Social Capital For Social Entrepreneurship," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 83(1), pages 101-116, March.
    15. Soogwan Doh & Connie McNeely, 2012. "A multi-dimensional perspective on social capital and economic development: an exploratory analysis," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 49(3), pages 821-843, December.
    16. Yuheng LI & Hans WESTLUND, 2013. "Interpreting Overall Inequality In China: The Roles Of Physical Capital, Human Capital And Social Capital," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(2), pages 145-150, December.
    17. Karlsson, Charlie & Rouchy, Philippe, 2015. "Regional Economic Development, Social Capital and Governance: A Comparative Institutional Analysis France - Sweden," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 406, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    18. Bird, Miriam & Wennberg, Karl, 2014. "Regional influences on the prevalence of family versus non-family start-ups," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 421-436.
    19. Ahmad, Mahyudin & Hall, Stephen G., 2014. "Explaining social capital effects on growth and property rights via trust-alternative variables," MPRA Paper 58358, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Emilia Vázquez & Sofia Gomes & Elvira Vieira, 2011. "Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth in Spanish and Portuguese Regions," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1537, European Regional Science Association.

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