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Social Capital, Well-Being, and Earnings: Theory and Evidence from Poland

  • Growiec, Jakub
  • Growiec, Katarzyna

We study the relationship between two distinct dimensions of social capital (bridging and bonding social capital) and the personal performances of individuals: their reported subjective well-being (SWB) and earnings. A theoretical model is put forward which explains the sources and dynamics of social capital formation. It predicts an inverse U-shaped relationship between any type of social capital and SWB, an inverse U-shaped relationship between bridging social capital and earnings, and an unambiguously negative impact of bonding social capital on earnings. The key predictions of the model are confirmed using cross-section survey data from the 2005 wave of the “Social Diagnosis” survey program conducted in Poland. Very low levels of bridging social capital observed in Poland imply that it is unambiguously beneficial to invest in it: both SWB of individuals and their earnings would increase in such case.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 7071.

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Date of creation: 06 Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7071
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  1. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Todd, Petra E., 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," IZA Discussion Papers 775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk & Sjak Smulders, 2003. "Bridging and Bonding Social Capital: which type is good for economic growth?," ERSA conference papers ersa03p517, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Paul F. Whiteley, 2000. "Economic Growth and Social Capital," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 48(3), pages 443-466, 06.
  5. Helliwell, John F., 2003. "How's life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 331-360, March.
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