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Social Capital

  • Steven N. Durlauf
  • Marcel Fafchamps

This paper surveys research on social capital. We explore the concepts that motivate the social capital literature, efforts to formally model social capital using economic theory, the econometrics of social capital, and empirical studies of the role of social capital in various socioeconomic outcomes. While our focus is primarily on the place of social capital in economics, we do consider its broader social science context. We argue that while the social capital literature has produced many insights, a number of conceptual and statistical problems exist with the current use of social capital by social scientists. We propose some ways to strengthen the social capital literature.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10485.

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Date of creation: May 2004
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Publication status: published as Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699 Elsevier.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10485
Note: EFG
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