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The fragility of social capital

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  • Antoci, Angelo

    (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)

  • Sabatini, Fabio

    (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)

  • Sodini, Mauro

    (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)

Abstract

This paper addresses two hot topics of the contemporary debate, social capital and economic growth. Our theoretical analysis sheds light on decisive but so far neglected issues: how does social capital accumulate over time? Which is the relationship between social capital, technical progress and economic growth in the long run? The analysis shows that the economy may be attracted by alternative steady states, depending on the initial social capital endowments and cultural exogenous parameters representing the relevance of social interaction and trust in well-being and production. When material consumption and relational goods are substitutable, the choice to devote more and more time to private activities may lead the economy to a "social poverty trap", where the cooling of human relations causes a progressive destruction of the entire stock of social capital. In this case, the relationship of social capital with technical progress is described by an inverted U-shaped curve. However, the possibility exists for the economy to follow a virtuous trajectory where the stock of social capital endogenously and unboundedly grows. Such result may follow from a range of particular conditions, under which the economy behaves as if there was no substitutability between relational activities and material consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2009. "The fragility of social capital," AICCON Working Papers 59-2009, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:aiccon:2009_059
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    Cited by:

    1. Molem Christopher Sama & Elizabeth Ankiambom Chiatii & Nkwetta Ajong Aquilas & Ofeh Moses Abit, 2016. "Building social capital in the fishery communities of the South-West region of Cameroon: The case of Limbe municipality," Asian Journal of Agriculture and rural Development, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 6(7), pages 119-130, July.
    2. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Does Social Capital Improve Labour Productivity in Small and Medium Enterprises?," Others 0509011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Angelo Antoci & Mauro Sodini & Luca Zarri, 2014. "Relational consumption and nonlinear dynamics in an overlapping generations model," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 37(1), pages 137-158, April.
    4. Biczkowski Mirosław, 2020. "LEADER as a mechanism of neo-endogenous development of rural areas: the case of Poland," Miscellanea Geographica. Regional Studies on Development, Sciendo, vol. 24(4), pages 232-244, October.
    5. Fabio Sabatini, 2006. "Social Capital and Labour Productivity in Italy," Working Papers 2006.30, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Fabio Sabatini, 2006. "The Empirics of Social Capital and Economic Development: A Critical Perspective," Working Papers 2006.15, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    7. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "The empirics of social capital and economic development. A critical perspective," Development and Comp Systems 0512015, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Mohammad Javad Razmi & Adegbemi Sahar Sherkat Bazzazan, 2012. "A Review of the Effect of Social Capital on Human Development in Iran," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 2(4), pages 448-459.
    9. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Measuring Social Capital in Italy. An Exploratory Analysis," Development and Comp Systems 0504003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Eiji Yamamura, 2011. "Differences in the effect of social capital on health status between workers and non-workers," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 58(4), pages 385-400, December.
    11. Argentiero, Amedeo & Cerqueti, Roy & Sabatini, Fabio, 2021. "Does social capital explain the Solow residual? A DSGE approach," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 35-53.
    12. Tiago Neves Sequeira & Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes, 2011. "An Endogenous Growth Model with Human and Social Capital Interactions," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 69(4), pages 465-493, December.
    13. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "The empirics of social capital and economic development: a critical perspective," Development and Comp Systems 0512008, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Sabatini, Fabio, 2006. "Social Capital, Public Spending and the Quality of Economic Development: The Case of Italy," Knowledge, Technology, Human Capital Working Papers 12079, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    15. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Does Social Capital Improve Labour Productivity in Small and Medium Enterprises?," Others 0508005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Stanislaw Walukiewicz, 2011. "Measuring Social Capital and Proximimty," ERSA conference papers ersa10p309, European Regional Science Association.
    17. Araujo, Luis & Minetti, Raoul, 2011. "Knowledge sharing and the dynamics of social capital," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1109-1119.
    18. Fabio, Sabatini, 2007. "Social capital, social enterprises, public spending and well-being in Italy [Capitale sociale, imprese sociali, spesa pubblica e benessere sociale in Italia]," MPRA Paper 2365, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Fabio Sabatini, 2007. "Mapping Italy’s social capital," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 1, March.
    20. Antonio C. David & Carmen A. Li, 2010. "Exploring the links between HIV|AIDS, social capital and development," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 941-961.
    21. David,Antonio C., 2007. "HIV/AIDS and social capital in a cross-section of countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4263, The World Bank.
    22. Stanislaw Walukiewicz & Aneta Wiktorzak, 2011. "Social Capital in Education," ERSA conference papers ersa10p632, European Regional Science Association.
    23. Sabatini Fabio, 2007. "The empirics of social capital and economic development: A critical perspective," wp.comunite 0031, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    24. Fabio, Sabatini, 2005. "The empirics of social capital and economic development: a critical perspective," MPRA Paper 2366, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2007.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social capital; Technical progress; Social sphere; Economic action; Well-being; Social poverty trap;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values

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