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Social capital and rural development: literature review and current state of the art
[Sozialkapital und ländliche Entwicklung: Literaturüberblick und gegenwärtiger Stand der Forschung]

Author

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  • Dufhues, Thomas
  • Buchenrieder, Gertrud
  • Fischer, Isabel

Abstract

Social capital has been recently held up as a conceptual framework to build a bridge between the diverse disciplines involved in rural development. However, despite its potential and the impressively rapid take-up of the concept by the community of development professionals, it remains an elusive construct. No definition is yet generally accepted and many definitions are in use. Recently, social capital in the form of social networks has gained much attention in rural development theory and empirical research. But social networks or structural components of social capital are a largely missing dimension in income and poverty analysis. Moreover, most research on social capital assumes that it is a uniform entity. Therefore, the effects of different forms of social capital on household outcome are rarely investigated. The objective of this discussion paper is to make the concept of social capital more tangible for empirical research in the area of rural development and to bring more structure into the conceptual framework of social capital. On the basis of an extensive literature review, this work proposes a lean and clear definition of social capital: Social capital is conceived as networks plus resources, (e.g. credit, information). Moreover, social capital is assumed to be not a homogeneous entity. Hence, it is necessary to distinguish different forms of social capital. For analytical purposes, the separation into so-called bonding and bridging capital seems to be most appealing. These two forms of social capital can be operationalized as function of an agent's so-called weak ties (e.g. acquaintances) and so-called strong ties (e.g. close relatives).

Suggested Citation

  • Dufhues, Thomas & Buchenrieder, Gertrud & Fischer, Isabel, 2006. "Social capital and rural development: literature review and current state of the art
    [Sozialkapital und ländliche Entwicklung: Literaturüberblick und gegenwärtiger Stand der Forschung]
    ," IAMO Discussion Papers 96, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iamodp:96
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    Cited by:

    1. Isabel Fischer & Tina Beuchelt & Tom Dufhues & Gertrud Buchenrieder, 2010. "Risk management networks of ethnic minorities in Viet Nam," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 17(2), pages 83-118, December.
    2. Fragkandreas, Thanos & Larsen, Karin, 2009. "Social Capital and Economic Performance: some lessons from Farm Partnerships in Sweden," MPRA Paper 17916, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Nguyen, Tu Chi & Rieger, Matthias, 2017. "Community-Driven Development and Social Capital: Evidence from Morocco," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 28-52.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social capital; individual social capital; measuring social capital; ego-network; social networks;

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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