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Social capital, economic growth and public policy


  • Piedad Patricia Restrepo



The concept of social capital has gained importance within economic studies only until the present decade. This article analyses the origin and evolution of the concept of social capital, it also establishes its connection with the economic growth of nations basically through two ways: that which crates virtuous circles (productive social capital) that foster investment in physical and human capital and that which generates vicious circles (unproductive social capital) that increases violence and criminality with ominous consequences in economic and social terms. Finally, the author presents some ideas in which social capital is emphasized as a new option for public policies, particularly in countries where their development increasingly depends on institutional and cultural factors beyond those strictly economic, as it seems to be the case in Colombia

Suggested Citation

  • Piedad Patricia Restrepo, 1998. "Social capital, economic growth and public policy," Grupo Microeconomía Aplicada 008, Universidad de Antioquia, Departamento de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:lde:grupom:008

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    Social capital; confidence; organizations; growth; competitiveness; violence.;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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