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Social Capital, Public Spending and the Quality of Economic Development: The Case of Italy

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  • Fabio Sabatini

    (University of Rome La Sapienza)

Abstract

This paper carries out an empirical assessment of the relationship between social capital and the quality of economic development in Italy. The analysis draws on a dataset collected by the author including about two hundred variables representing different aspects of economic development and four “structural” dimensions of social capital. The quality of development is measured through human development and indicators of the state of health of urban ecosystems, public services, gender equality, and labour markets, while social capital is measured through synthetic indicators representing strong family ties, weak informal ties, voluntary organizations, and political participation. The quality of development exhibits a strong positive correlation with bridging weak ties and a negative correlation with strong family ties. Particularly, the analysis shows a strong correlation between informal ties and an indicator of “social well-being” (synthesizing gender equality, public services and labour markets) and between voluntary organizations and the state of health of urban ecosystems. Active political participation proves to be irrelevant in terms of development and well-being. Finally, the role of public spending for education, health care, welfare work, and the environment protection is analysed, revealing a scarce correlation both with social capital and development indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Sabatini, 2006. "Social Capital, Public Spending and the Quality of Economic Development: The Case of Italy," Working Papers 2006.14, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2006.14
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    File URL: https://www.feem.it/m/publications_pages/NDL2006-014.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sabatini, Fabio, 2005. "Social capital, labour precariousness and the economic performance. An empirical assessment of the strength of weak ties in Italy," AICCON Working Papers 26-2005, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    2. Sabatini, Fabio, 2007. "The Role of Social Capital in Economic Development," AICCON Working Papers 43-2007, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    3. Tuba Cekic, 2011. "Redefining Turkey's Regional Economic Disparities Through Social Participation," ERSA conference papers ersa11p184, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Social capital as social networks. A new framework for measurement," Working Papers 83, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
    5. Fabio, Sabatini, 2007. "Social capital, social enterprises, public spending and well-being in Italy [Capitale sociale, imprese sociali, spesa pubblica e benessere sociale in Italia]," MPRA Paper 2365, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Ferrante, Francesco & Sabatini, Fabio, 2007. "Education, social capital and entrepreneurial selection in Italy," MPRA Paper 2451, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Fabio Sabatini, 2007. "Mapping Italy’s social capital," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 1, March.
    8. Coffé, Hilde & Geys, Benny, 2006. "Towards an empirical characterization of bridging and bonding social capital [Zur empirischen Charakterisierung von heterogenen (bridging) und homogenen (bonding) Arten des Sozialkapitals]," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2006-11, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social capital; Social networks; Public spending; Economic development; Human development; Principal component analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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