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Social Capital, Human Capital and the Community Mechanism: Toward a Conceptual Framework for Economists


  • Yujiro Hayami


For facilitating the development of a consensus on the concept of social capital among economists, this paper proposes its operational definition in a way consistent with the definitions of physical and human capital and discusses the relevance on the use of the metaphor of capital for social capital. Further, the unique characteristics in the production and accumulation of social capital in comparison with physical and human capital are identified in relation with the community which is considered the central mechanism to produce social capital. The merits and drawbacks of the community relative to the market and the state are examined with the aim of identifying the conditions under which social capital can be supplied efficiently in the direction of promoting economic progress.

Suggested Citation

  • Yujiro Hayami, 2009. "Social Capital, Human Capital and the Community Mechanism: Toward a Conceptual Framework for Economists," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 96-123.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:45:y:2009:i:1:p:96-123
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380802468595

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tanimoto, Masayuki (ed.), 2006. "The Role of Tradition in Japan's Industrialization: Another Path to Industrialization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292746.
    2. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), 2005. "Handbook of Economic Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    4. Fujimoto, Takahiro, 1999. "The Evolution of Manufacturing Systems at Toyota," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195123203.
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