IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iae/iaewps/wp2003n26.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Communities, Social Capital and Public Policy: Literature Review

Author

Listed:
  • David Johnson

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Bruce Headey

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Ben Jensen

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

In this paper we explore the meaning and relevance of community and social capital, working mainly in economics though drawing on other disciplines. Economic studies of community have focussed in one of two main areas, neighbourhood studies and regional economics. We discuss the contributions of both to understanding about communities. In public discourse the concept of social capital has emerged as a resonant measure of community strength. Our review suggests that is a slippery concept with ambivalent and sometimes ambiguous interpretation. Nevertheless it has been useful in suggesting guidelines for development of public policy in relation to community. The relationship between social capital and the family, education, ethnicity, democracy, health, happiness, crime and economic performance are considered in this working paper. International comparative data is used to evaluate social capital in Australia. To clarify the sometimes cloudy meaning, our review suggest four principles for measuring social capital; distinguish between structure and content, specify the arena or area of activity to which a measure applies, specify the level of aggregation at which the measure applies and assess the net benefit of social capital empirically. We explored policies for strengthening community in Australia and the UK. Studies of both local area initiatives and proposals at the national level are considered. Issues of governance are discussed in relation to the application of policy to communities and the review concludes with some suggestions for further research.

Suggested Citation

  • David Johnson & Bruce Headey & Ben Jensen, 2003. "Communities, Social Capital and Public Policy: Literature Review," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n26, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2003n26
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2003n26.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Benabou, Roland, 1994. "Human capital, inequality, and growth: A local perspective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 817-826, April.
    2. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Isabel Neira Gómez & Marta Portela, 2011. "Determinantes del capital social," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 6,in: Antonio Caparrós Ruiz (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 6, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 60, pages 986-1001 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2003n26. 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: (Sheri Carnegie). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/mimelau.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.