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Social capital and regional economic growth

  • Sjoerd Beugelsdijk

    ()

  • Ton Van Schaik

    ()

We study a cross-section of 54 European regions in the period 1950-1998. The central question is whether social capital, in the form of generalized trust and associational activity, is related to regional differences in economic growth. Based on extensive robustness tests, we present evidence that social capital measured as associational activity is positively related to growth differentials in European regions. Hence, our results suggest that Putnam’s (1993) thesis on social capital in Italian regions can be generalized. Our analysis also suggests that it is not only the mere existence of network relationships that stimulates regional economic growth, but also the level of actual involvement in these relationships.

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File URL: http://www-sre.wu-wien.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa03/cdrom/papers/518.pdf
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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa03p518.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa03p518
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  1. Bertrand, M. & Luttmer, E.F.P. & Mullainathan, S., 1998. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," Papers 201, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  2. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I just ran four million regressions," Economics Working Papers 201, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. John F. Helliwell, 1996. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Asia," NBER Working Papers 5470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Xavier Sala-I-Martin, 1997. "Transfers, Social Safety Nets, and Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 81-102, March.
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  10. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
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  12. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  13. Leonardi, Robert, 1995. "Regional Development in Italy: Social Capital and the Mezzogiorno," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 165-79, Summer.
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  16. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Regional convergence clusters across Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 951-958, April.
  17. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
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  23. 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.
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  30. Begg, Iain, 1995. "Factor Mobility and Regional Disparities in the European Union," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 96-112, Summer.
  31. anonymous, 1995. "Does the bouncing ball lead to economic growth?," Regional Update, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Jul, pages 1-2, 4-6.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
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  35. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
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