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Social Capital: An Insight Revealed or a Concept Too Many?



An introduction to social capital and a 'state of the art' analysis is provided. Attention is drawn to disagreements in use of the term, particularly between its innate and planned, individual and collective natures. It is argued that no inconsistency exists, rather it is a multifaceted concept. Alternative measurement techniques are discussed, along with pointers from historical research, and the principal economic effects of social capital. We conclude with recommendations for future research directions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ville, Simon, 2004. "Social Capital: An Insight Revealed or a Concept Too Many?," Economics Working Papers wp04-05, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp04-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Hall, Peter A., 1999. "Social Capital in Britain," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(03), pages 417-461, June.
    3. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "Social Capital and Community Governance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 419-436, November.
    4. Joel Sobel, 2002. "Can We Trust Social Capital?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 139-154, March.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
    6. Ogilvie, Sheilagh, 2003. "A Bitter Living: Women, Markets, and Social Capital in Early Modern Germany," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198205548.
    7. Greif, Avner, 1992. "Institutions and International Trade: Lessons from the Commercial Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 128-133, May.
    8. George J. Borjas, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-150.
    9. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-548, June.
    10. 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.
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    social capital; measurement techniques; intangible assets;

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