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The Puzzle of Social Capital: A Critical Review

Author

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  • Quibria, M.G.

Abstract

This expository note provides a critical review of the burgeoning literature on social capital and highlights a number of conceptual and empirical issues. First, the concept of social capital remains largely elusive, with many different ideas attached to it. This elusiveness has serious ramifications for empirical and policy analysis. Second, while the concept of social capital is used to highlight the positive, productive aspects of sociability, it fails in important ways to qualify as a form of capital. Third, there are both theoretical and empirical presumptions that social capital can lead to undesirable socioeconomic outcomes. Finally, a large body of empirical work on social capital remains mired in measurement and estimation problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Quibria, M.G., 2003. "The Puzzle of Social Capital: A Critical Review," MPRA Paper 2640, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2640
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/2640/1/MPRA_paper_2640.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sabatini, Fabio, 2005. "Social capital, labour precariousness and the economic performance. An empirical assessment of the strength of weak ties in Italy," AICCON Working Papers 26-2005, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    2. Fabio Sabatini, 2009. "The relationship between trust and networks. An exploratory empirical analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 661-672.
    3. Lorna Zischka & Marina Della Giusta, 2016. "Helping without Trusting: Disentangling Prosocial Behaviours," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2016-11, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    4. Adhikari, Krishna Prasad & Goldey, Patricia, 2010. "Social Capital and its "Downside": The Impact on Sustainability of Induced Community-Based Organizations in Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 184-194, February.
    5. Marina Murat & Barbara Pistoresi & Alberto Rinaldi, 2011. "Transnational Social Capital And Fdi: Evidence From Italian Associations Worldwide," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 36(4), pages 1-15, December.
    6. Lorna Zischka & Mark Casson & Marina Della Giusta, 2016. "'Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.' A BHPS study of the interaction between giving and welfare," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2016-10, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    7. Makela, Kristiina & Kalla, Hanna K. & Piekkari, Rebecca, 2007. "Interpersonal similarity as a driver of knowledge sharing within multinational corporations," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-22, February.
    8. Sabatini, Fabio, 2007. "The Role of Social Capital in Economic Development," AICCON Working Papers 43-2007, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    9. Stanislaw Walukiewicz & Aneta Wiktorzak, 2011. "Social Capital in Education," ERSA conference papers ersa10p632, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Lorna Zischka, 2016. "The Interaction between Prosocial (Giving) Behaviours and Social Cohesion," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2016-07, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    11. Geys, Benny, 2007. "How to make head or tail of bridging and bonding? Adressing the methodological ambiguity
      [Wie ist ‘Briding vs. Bonding’ sozialer Netzwerke zu verstehen? Das Problem der methodischen Zweideutigkeit]
      ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2007-11, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    12. Schwanen, Tim & Lucas, Karen & Akyelken, Nihan & Cisternas Solsona, Diego & Carrasco, Juan-Antonio & Neutens, Tijs, 2015. "Rethinking the links between social exclusion and transport disadvantage through the lens of social capital," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 123-135.
    13. Stanislaw Walukiewicz, 2011. "Measuring Social Capital and Proximimty," ERSA conference papers ersa10p309, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social capital; poverty; growth; socio-economic outcomes;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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