What is social capital? How can it be Measured? What is the role of education in promoting social capital?

Year: 2005

Author: Stevens, Robert

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

According to the standard view, social capital is networks of relationships. Networks can be regarded as a form of capital since they are a resource that enables people to work together to achieve things that they could not easily achieve by themselves.

Against the standard view, I will argue that networks do not always constitute a resource. In some cases they are a liability. Sometimes networks are socially corrosive. But social capital cannot by definition be a liability or socially corrosive. So I conclude that networks do not constitute social capital.

I will argue that social capital is cooperation in pursuit of the common good.

I will then give some examples of how social capital can be measured, and explore some implications of social capital for the discipline of Economics and education.