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Social Capital, the Economy and Well-being

In: The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2001: The Longest Decade: Canada in the 1990s

  • John Helliwell

    (Professor of Economics at the University of British Columbia)

In this chapter, John Helliwell sets the scene for many of the papers that follow by providing an up-to-date and lucid survey of the literature on the impact of social capital on both the economy or economic performance and well-being. This latter term is closely related to the concept of social progress used in this volume. He begins by defining social capital as the networks and norms that facilitate cooperative activities within groups (bonding social capital) and between groups (bridging social capital). Helliwell documents a number of studies that show that social capital actually saves lives. He surveys the literature on subjective well-being, pointing out that unemployment lowers subjective well-being by more than the usual measure of economic cost and certainly more than inflation.

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This item is provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards & The Institutute for Research on Public Policy in its series The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress with number v:1:y:2001:jh.
Handle: RePEc:sls:repsls:v:1:y:2001:jh
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  1. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  2. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Do National Borders Matter for Quebec's Trade?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 507-22, August.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Working Papers 7777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 1995. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Italy," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 295-307, Summer.
  5. Engel, Charles & Rogers, John H, 1996. "How Wide Is the Border?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1112-25, December.
  6. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2000. "Non-Europe: The magnitude and causes of market fragmentation in the EU," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 136(2), pages 284-314, June.
  7. Jonathan Temple, 2000. "Growth Effects of Education and Social Capital in the OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 263, OECD Publishing.
  8. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  9. Rose, Andrew, 1999. "One Money, One Market: Estimating the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade," Seminar Papers 678, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  10. John F. Helliwell & Ross McKitrick, 1998. "Comparing Capital Mobility Across Provincial and National Borders," NBER Working Papers 6624, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Asia," NBER Working Papers 5470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  13. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
  14. Glenn C. Loury, 1976. "A Dynamic Theory of Racial Income Differences," Discussion Papers 225, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  16. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  17. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  18. Alex Michalos, 1985. "Multiple discrepancies theory (MDT)," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 347-413, May.
  19. Jonathan Temple & Paul A. Johnson, 1998. "Social Capability And Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 965-990, August.
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