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Social capital literature and Durlauf´s criticism

  • Lízia Figueiredo

    (Cedeplar-UFMG)

Registered author(s):

    Despite the lack of consensus on the appropriate concept of ‘social capital’, research in the area has continued even in the most criticized macroeconomic area. The investigation about the importance of social capital to generate differences in regional per capita income (per capita income growth rates) had new contributions in the last decade. Robustness analysis was carried on for cross-country analysis and interregional studies were explored. Empirical research was usually based on the idea that social capital is ‘norms, networks and trust’, although without a deep discussion about this choice. We will argue that the acceptance of this pragmatic concept was wise, not only because it allowed empirical research to follow one, but also because it is theoretically well established. We will also argue that the concern about robustness is one of the main ways ahead to the macro research, which was exactly the way followed by this literature. In other words, we will argue that economists follow a good practice in the episode and that the fruits of the research allow us to rethink and improve the way economists behave.

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    File URL: http://www.cedeplar.ufmg.br/pesquisas/td/TD%20430.pdf
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    Paper provided by Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in its series Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG with number td430.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:cdp:texdis:td430
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    1. William Easterly & Jozef Ritzen & Michael Woolcock, 2006. "Social Cohesion, Institutions, And Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 103-120, 07.
    2. Durlauf,S.N., 2001. "On the empirics of social capital," Working papers 3, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    3. Beugelsdijk, Sjoerd & van Schaik, Ton, 2005. "Social capital and growth in European regions: an empirical test," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 301-324, June.
    4. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk & Henri L.F. de Groot & Anton B.T.M. van Schaik, 2004. "Trust and economic growth: a robustness analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 118-134, January.
    5. Fabio Sabatini, 2008. "Social Capital and the Quality of Economic Development," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 466-499, 08.
    6. Anil Rupasingha & Stephan J. Goetz & David Freshwater, 2002. "Social and institutional factors as determinants of economic growth: Evidence from the United States counties," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 81(2), pages 139-155.
    7. Caldwell, Bruce J, 1991. "Clarifying Popper," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(1), pages 1-33, March.
    8. Joel Sobel, 2002. "Can We Trust Social Capital?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 139-154, March.
    9. 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.
    10. Knack, Stephen, 2003. " Groups, Growth and Trust: Cross-Country Evidence on the Olson and Putnam Hypotheses," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(3-4), pages 341-55, December.
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