IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ter/wpaper/0031.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The empirics of social capital and economic development: A critical perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Sabatini Fabio

Abstract

This paper provides an introduction to the concept of social capital, and carries out a critical review of the empirical literature on social capital and economic development. The survey points out six main weaknesses affecting the empirics of social capital. Identified weaknesses are then used to analyze, in a critical perspective, some prominent empirical studies and new interesting researches published in the last two years. The need emerges to acknowledge, also within the empirical research, the multidimensional, context-dependent and dynamic nature of social capital. The survey also underlines that, although it has gained a certain popularity in the empirical research, the use of “indirect” indicators may be misleading. Such measures do not represent social capital’s key components identified by the theoretical literature, and their use causes a considerable confusion about what social capital is, as distinct from its outcomes, and what the relationship between social capital and its outcomes may be. Research reliant upon an outcome of social capital as an indicator of it will necessarily find social capital to be related to that outcome. This paper suggests to focus the empirical research firstly on the “structural” aspects of the concept, therefore excluding by the measurement toolbox all indicators referring to social capital’s supposed outcomes.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Sabatini Fabio, 2007. "The empirics of social capital and economic development: A critical perspective," wp.comunite 0031, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ter:wpaper:0031
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://wp.comunite.it/data/wp_no_31_2007.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
    2. Christian Bjornskov, 2003. "The Happy Few: Cross--Country Evidence on Social Capital and Life Satisfaction," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 3-16, February.
    3. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    4. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
    5. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 1995. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Italy," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 295-307, Summer.
    6. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
    7. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
    8. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    9. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543, January.
    10. Knack, Stephen, 1992. "Civic norms, social sanctions and voting turnout," MPRA Paper 28080, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Margaret Levi, 1996. "Social and Unsocial Capital: A Review Essay of Robert Putnam's Making Democracy Work," Politics & Society, , vol. 24(1), pages 45-55, March.
    12. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "Social Capital and Community Governance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 419-436, November.
    13. 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.
    14. Routledge, Bryan R. & von Amsberg, Joachim, 2003. "Social capital and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 167-193, January.
    15. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth: Macroeconomic Implications of Community Structure and School Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 584-609, June.
    16. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
    17. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    18. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik & Jeremy C. Stein, 2004. "Social Interaction and Stock-Market Participation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(1), pages 137-163, February.
    19. Beugelsdijk, S. & van Schaik, A.B.T.M., 2001. "Social Capital and Regional Economic Growth," Discussion Paper 2001-102, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    20. Bo Rothstein, 2001. "Social Capital in the Social Democratic Welfare State," Politics & Society, , vol. 29(2), pages 207-241, June.
    21. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-338, May.
    22. Paul F. Whiteley, 2000. "Economic Growth and Social Capital," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 48(3), pages 443-466, June.
    23. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Social capital as social networks. A new framework for measurement," Others 0506013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    24. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Resources for the Study of Social Capital," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 198-198, April.
    25. Mark Gradstein & Moshe Justman, 2002. "Education, Social Cohesion, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1192-1204, September.
    26. Golden, Miriam A., 2003. "Electoral Connections: The Effects of the Personal Vote on Political Patronage, Bureaucracy and Legislation in Postwar Italy," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(02), pages 189-212, April.
    27. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 526-556, June.
    28. Arnott, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1991. "Moral Hazard and Nonmarket Institutions: Dysfunctional Crowding Out or Peer Monitoring?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 179-190, March.
    29. repec:hrv:faseco:30726298 is not listed on IDEAS
    30. Paldam, Martin & Svendsen, Gert Tinggaard, 2000. "An essay on social capital: looking for the fire behind the smoke," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 339-366, June.
    31. Peri Giovanni, 2004. "Socio-Cultural Variables and Economic Success: Evidence from Italian Provinces 1951-1991," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, September.
    32. Brown, L. David & Ashman, Darcy, 1996. "Participation, social capital, and intersectoral problem solving: African and Asian cases," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(9), pages 1467-1479, September.
    33. Letki, Natalia & Evans, Geoffrey, 2005. "Endogenizing Social Trust: Democratization in East-Central Europe," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(03), pages 515-529, July.
    34. Benedetto Gui, 2000. "Beyond Transactions: On the Interpersonal Dimension of Economic Reality," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 139-169, June.
    35. Narayan, Deepa & Pritchett, Lant, 1999. "Cents and Sociability: Household Income and Social Capital in Rural Tanzania," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(4), pages 871-897, July.
    36. Johnson, Paul & Temple, Jonathan, 1996. "Social Capability and Economic Development," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 37, Vassar College Department of Economics.
    37. Jonathan Temple & Paul A. Johnson, 1998. "Social Capability and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 965-990.
    38. Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 1997. "Why Don't Poor Countries Catch Up? A Cross-National Test of Institutional Explanation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 590-602, July.
    39. Giacomo Degli Antoni, 2006. "Capitale sociale e crescita economica: una verifica empirica a livello regionale e provinciale," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 363-394.
    40. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Social capital as social networks. A new framework for measurement," Working Papers 83, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
    41. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 1998. "The Evolution of Strong Reciprocity," Research in Economics 98-08-073e, Santa Fe Institute.
    42. repec:fth:oxesaf:97-2.1 is not listed on IDEAS
    43. Steven N. Durlauf, 2002. "On the Empirics of Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 459-479, November.
    44. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    45. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:02:p:389-397_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    46. Durlauf,S.N., 1999. "The case "against" social capital," Working papers 29, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    47. Gaute Torsvik, 2000. "Social Capital And Economic Development," Rationality and Society, , vol. 12(4), pages 451-476, November.
    48. Degli Antoni, Giacomo, 2005. "Le determinanti del capitale sociale: analisi teorica e verifica empirica a livello micro e macroeconomico," AICCON Working Papers 14-2005, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    49. Foley, Michael W. & Edwards, Bob, 1999. "Is It Time to Disinvest in Social Capital?," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(02), pages 141-173, May.
    50. Kormendi, Roger C. & Meguire, Philip G., 1985. "Macroeconomic determinants of growth: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 141-163, September.
    51. Barbara Piazza-Georgi, 2002. "The role of human and social capital in growth: extending our understanding," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 461-479, July.
    52. James J. Heckman, 2000. "Causal Parameters and Policy Analysis in Economics: A Twentieth Century Retrospective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 45-97.
    53. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding the American Decline in Social Capital, 1952--1998," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 17-46, February.
    54. Glenn C. Loury, 1976. "A Dynamic Theory of Racial Income Differences," Discussion Papers 225, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    55. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "The Role of Social Capital in Economic Development. Investigating the Causal Nexus through Structural Equations Models," Development and Comp Systems 0512010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    56. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk & Henri L.F. de Groot & Anton B.T.M. van Schaik, 2004. "Trust and economic growth: a robustness analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 118-134, January.
    57. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:agisys:v:153:y:2017:i:c:p:221-231 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fabio Sabatini, 2010. "Job instability and family planning: insights from the Italian puzzle," Department of Economics University of Siena 584, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    3. Sabatini, Fabio, 2009. "Does social capital create trust? Evidence from a community of entrepreneurs," AICCON Working Papers 58-2009, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    4. Sabatini, Fabio, 2014. "The relationship between happiness and health: Evidence from Italy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 178-187.
    5. 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.
    6. Cerqueti, Roy & Sabatini, Fabio & Ventura, Marco, 2016. "Civic capital and support for the welfare state," MPRA Paper 71566, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2012. "The Solaria syndrome: Social capital in a growing hyper-technological economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 802-814.
    8. Sabatini Fabio, 2009. "Work status and family planning: Insights from the Italian puzzle," wp.comunite 0058, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    9. Serkan Gürsoy, 2014. "The impact of Online ICT on the dimensions of social capital," STPS Working Papers 1401, STPS - Science and Technology Policy Studies Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Apr 2014.
    10. Antoci Angelo & Sabatini Fabio & Sodini Mauro, 2009. "Will growth and technology destroy social interaction? The inverted U-shape hypothesis," wp.comunite 0057, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    11. 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.
    12. Sanchez-Famoso, Valeriano & Iturralde Jainaga, Txomin & Maseda García, Amaia, 2015. "Kapital sozialaren garrantzia familia enpresetan," Revista de Dirección y Administración de Empresas, Universidad del País Vasco - Escuela Universitaria de Estudios Empresariales de San Sebastián.
    13. Giorgio Calcagnini & Germana Giombini & Francesco Perugini, 2016. "Bank Foundations, Social Capital, and the Growth of Italian Provinces," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 131, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    14. Fabio Sabatini, 2009. "The relationship between trust and networks. An exploratory empirical analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 661-672.
    15. 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.
    16. David,Antonio C., 2007. "HIV/AIDS and social capital in a cross-section of countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4263, The World Bank.
    17. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Dinh, Hinh T., 2015. "Social capital, product imitation and growth with learning externalities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 41-54.
    18. Marco Ferroni & Mercedes Mateo Díaz & J. Mark Payne, 2007. "Development under Conditions of Inequality and Distrust: An Exploration of the Role of Social Capital and Social Cohesion in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 53818, Inter-American Development Bank.
    19. Cene Bavec, 2007. "Interdependence Between Social Values and National Performance Indicators: The Case of the Enlarged European Union," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 5(3), pages 213-228.
    20. Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Democracy or videocracy? An econometric analysis of the role of television in the Italian political arena," MPRA Paper 31117, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Özcan, Burcu & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2011. "Social trust and human development," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 753-762.
    22. Fabio Sabatini, 2012. "Who Trusts B erlusconi? An Econometric Analysis of the Role of Television in the Political Arena," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 111-131, February.
    23. Ilhan Eroğlu & Nalan Kangal, 2016. "Can Social Capital Be the New Dynamics of Economic Development?," Annales. Ethics in Economic Life, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, vol. 19(4), pages 51-66, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A31 - General Economics and Teaching - - Multisubject Collective Works - - - Multisubject Collected Writings of Individuals
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ter:wpaper:0031. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Giovanni Di Bartolomeo). General contact details of provider: http://wp.comunite.it/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.