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Social Capital and Economic Growth Revisited

  • Reino Hjerppe
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    Social capital facilitates cooperation in the society. High level of social capital promotes economic efficiency by lowering transaction costs. Trust towards strangers and low level of corruption are examples of high level of social capital. The concept of social capital is already an old one, but interest in studying its role and effects has increased notably during the past ten years or so. Review of the literature concerning the connection of economic growth and social capital shows that many studies have found strong positive correlation between the two. This does not, however, establish a causal relationship between them. In addition, defining and measuring social capital unequivocally has proven difficult. The concept has both a structural (whether people participate in group activities) and a cognitive dimension (norms, attitudes). The paper also deals with problems of formation of social capital and the possibilities to tackle the measurement problems.

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    Paper provided by Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT) in its series Discussion Papers with number 307.

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    Date of creation: 09 Jun 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:fer:dpaper:307
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    1. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
    2. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Durlauf,S.N., 2001. "On the empirics of social capital," Working papers 3, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    4. 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.
    5. Temple, Jonathan, 2001. "Growth Effects of Education and Social Capital in the OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2875, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Grier, Kevin B. & Tullock, Gordon, 1989. "An empirical analysis of cross-national economic growth, 1951-1980," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 259-276, September.
    7. Kormendi, Roger C. & Meguire, Philip G., 1985. "Macroeconomic determinants of growth: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 141-163, September.
    8. (Special Paper), 1997. "Programme and Proceedings of 1997 Warwick Summer Research workshop on "Dynamic Games and their Economic Applications"," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 488, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    9. Narayan, Deepa & Pritchett, Lant, 1999. "Cents and Sociability: Household Income and Social Capital in Rural Tanzania," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(4), pages 871-97, July.
    10. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 1999. "Education and Social Capital," NBER Working Papers 7121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. R. Hirschowitz, 1989. "The Other Path: The Invisible Revolution in the Third World," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 57(4), pages 266-272, December.
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