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Measuring Social Capital in Italy. An Exploratory Analysis

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  • Fabio Sabatini

    (University of Rome La Sapienza)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to trace a map of Italian local social capital endowments. It focuses on the “structural” dimension of the concept, as identified with social networks. The analysis is based on a dataset collected by the author including about two hundred indicators of five main social capital dimensions: strong family ties, weak informal ties, voluntary organizations, civic awareness, and political participation. 51 key variables are selected for performing principal component analyses both on each of the five groups and on the entire dataset, in order to build latent indicators for every single social capital’s dimension and for the concept as a whole. Finally, a multiple factor analysis is run on the entire dataset, in search of a single synthetic measure of social capital. A clear distinction emerges between bonding social capital, shaped by strong family ties, and bridging and linking social capital, shaped by weak ties among friends, neighboors and members in voluntary organizations. Areas characterized by high levels of bonding social capital can suffer from a lack of bridging and linking ties. The study provides a valuable synthetic indicator capturing the particular configuration of social capital which the literature generally associates with positive economic outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Measuring Social Capital in Italy. An Exploratory Analysis," Development and Comp Systems 0504003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0504003
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 45. Third Sector and Civil Economy Working Paper Series, No. 12 (April 2005), University of Bologna, Faculty of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. colantonio emiliano & crociata alessandro & perrucci antonella, 2012. "From Social Capital To Firms Networks: Some Evidence For Europe," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 179-184, December.
    2. Fabio Sabatini, 2007. "Mapping Italy’s social capital," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 1, March.
    3. Yogo, Urbain Thierry, 2009. "Le Capital Social: Entre Evidences Théoriques et Balbutiemments Empiriques [Social Capital: Theoretical Evidence and empirical issues]," MPRA Paper 19441, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Emanuele Felice, 2011. "The determinants of Italy’s regional imbalances over the long run: exploring the contributions of human and social capital," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _088, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    5. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Social Capital, Public Spending and the Quality of Economic Development," Others 0506014, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Emanuele Felice, 2011. "The determinants of Italy's regional imbalances over the long run: exploring the contributions of human and social capital," Oxford Economic and Social History Working Papers _088, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social capital; Social networks; Economic development; Principal component analysis; Multiple factor analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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