IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Understanding, measuring and utilizing social capital: clarifying concepts and presenting a field application from India

  • Krishna, Anirudh
Registered author(s):

    Social capital is a resource, a propensity for mutually beneficial collective action that communities possess to different extents. Communities with high levels of social capital are able to act together collectively for achieving diverse common objectives. While the concept of social capital is valid universally, the measure of social capital will vary by context. It must be related in each case to aspects of social relations that assist mutually beneficial collective action within that particular cultural context. A locally relevant scale of social capital was developed to assess whether and how social capital mattered for development performance in 69 north Indian villages. Variables corresponding to other bodies of explanation, including extent of commercialization, relative stratification, and relative need were also examined, but a combination of high social capital and capable agency was found to associate most closely with high development performance. Agency is important particularly in situations where institutions are not available that enable citizens to connect with the state and with markets. The productivity of social capital is considerably reduced on account of this institutional gap in the middle. Development performance can be improved in these situations by adding to the stock of social capital and also through enhancing agency capacity.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found. If this is indeed the case, please notify ()

    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series CAPRi working papers with number 28.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fpr:worpps:28
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 2033 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
    Phone: 202-862-5600
    Fax: 202-467-4439
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Birner, Regina & Gunaweera, Hasantha, 2001. "Between market failure, policy failure and “community failure”: property rights, crop-livestock conflicts and the adoption of sustainable land use practices in the dry zone of Sri Lanka," CAPRi working papers 13, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Krishna, Anirudh, 2001. "Moving from the Stock of Social Capital to the Flow of Benefits: The Role of Agency," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 925-943, June.
    3. Bates, R.H., 2000. "Ethicity, Capital Formation, and Conflict," Papers 27, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
    4. Knox, Anna & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Hazell, P. B. R., 1998. "Property rights, collective action and technologies for natural resource management: a conceptual framework," CAPRi working papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Pradhan, Rajendra, 2002. "Legal pluralism and dynamic property rights:," CAPRi working papers 22, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Ostrom, Elinor, 1996. "Crossing the great divide: Coproduction, synergy, and development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1073-1087, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:worpps:28. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.