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Social Capital: Bridging the Theory and Empirical Divide

  • Brenda Gannon

    ()

    (Academic Unit of Health Economics, University of Leeds)

  • Jennifer Roberts

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

We explore the measurement of social capital in an attempt to bring the empirical work closer to the theoretical literature. Specifically we use the Survey of Health Aging and Retirement in Europe for 2004 and 2006 to construct a composite index of social capital, using principal component analysis. We explore the extent to which the underlying latent factors coincide with the theoretical components of social capital. Our results suggest that the proxy variables load on to four theoretical components. Both men and women have higher social capital in Nordic welfare regimes compared to those in Central or Southern Europe.

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File URL: http://www.shef.ac.uk/economics/research/serps/articles/2012_028.html
File Function: First version, 2012
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Paper provided by The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012028.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2012028
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  2. Bruni, Luigino & Sugden, Robert, 2000. "Moral canals: trust and social capital in the work of Hume, Smith and Genovesi," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 21-45, April.
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    • 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.
  15. Kan, Kamhon, 2007. "Residential mobility and social capital," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 436-457, May.
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  20. Sarah Smith, 2010. "Social connectedness and retirement," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/255, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  21. Sirven, Nicolas & Debrand, Thierry, 2012. "Social capital and health of older Europeans: Causal pathways and health inequalities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(7), pages 1288-1295.
  22. Marcel Fafchamps & Steven N. Durlauf, 2004. "Social Capital," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-14, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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