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Social Capital Formation in Rural, Urban and Suburban Communities


  • Debertin, David L.
  • Goetz, Stephan J.


In this paper, we define social capital from different perspectives and show how it is linked to the concept of a community. Based on these definitions, a conceptual framework for analyzing and measuring social capital and its indicators is developed. A typology for analyzing social capital is then created based on different types of communities. The characteristics of three prototype communities–a small rural community, a modern city suburb, and a community located in the core of a central city are outlined. For each prototype community, social capital formation strategies and indicators suggesting evidence of social capital are identified. Implications for future research efforts dealing with social capital are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Debertin, David L. & Goetz, Stephan J., 2013. "Social Capital Formation in Rural, Urban and Suburban Communities," Staff Papers 159102, University of Kentucky, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ukysps:159102

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Stephan J. Goetz, 1993. "Human Capital and Rural Labor Issues," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1164-1168.
    3. Brian K. Ray, 1997. "The Changing 'Face' of the Suburbs: Issues of Ethnicity and Residential Change in Suburban Vancouver," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 75-99, March.
    4. Hughes, William Jr. & Turnbull, Geoffrey K., 1996. "Uncertain Neighborhood Effects and Restrictive Covenants," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 160-172, March.
    5. P.J. McLoughlin, 1983. "Community Considerations as Location Attraction Variables for Manufacturing Industry," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 20(3), pages 359-363, August.
    6. Knapp, Thomas A. & Graves, Philip E., 1989. "On the role of amenities in models of migration and regional development," MPRA Paper 19914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. A. Hirschfield & K.J. Bowers, 1997. "The Effect of Social Cohesion on Levels of Recorded Crime in Disadvantaged Areas," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 34(8), pages 1275-1295, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Hvid, 2014. "Agricultural rent-seeking in developing countries: an empirical investigation," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(14), pages 951-954, September.

    More about this item


    social capital; community; rural community; suburban community; urban community; community development; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Labor and Human Capital; R58;

    JEL classification:

    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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