Is Social Capital Path Dependent?

17 July 2007 at 10:14 pm 1 comment

| Peter Klein |

Recent work by Robert Putnam, Douglass North, Ed Glaeser, and others has highlighted the role of social capital — membership in organizations, participation in civic activities, social trust — plays in economic development. Empirically, social capital has typically been measured with survey data, making historical comparisons difficult. It is important to know, however, how social capital changes over time. If social capital is largely path dependent, then there is little that can be done to improve the stock or productivity of social capital at a particular time.

A new paper by Marta Felis Rota, “Is Social Capital Persistent? Comparative Measurement in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries,” exploits Adelman and Morris’s (1965) database of socio-economic indicators for 23 countries from 1850 to 1914 to construct social capital indicators for the late nineteenth century, which can be compared to similar indicators for the twentieth century. Evidence for path dependence is weak; all countries enjoy long-run increases in social capital but rates of change vary widely. Check it out.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Evolutionary Economics, Institutions, New Institutional Economics.

John Hagel’s Blog Vapor-Articles

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. links for 2007-07-23 at Jacob Christensen  |  23 July 2007 at 7:24 am

    […] Organisations and Markets: Is Social Capital Path Dependent? A new paper by Marta Felis Rota … Evidence for path dependence is weak; all countries enjoy long-run increases in social capital but rates of change vary widely (tags: research sociology socialcapital) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Nicolai J. Foss | home | posts
Peter G. Klein | home | posts
Richard Langlois | home | posts
Lasse B. Lien | home | posts


Former Guests | posts


Recent Posts



Our Recent Books

Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Peter G. Klein and Micheal E. Sykuta, eds., The Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics (Edward Elgar, 2010).
Peter G. Klein, The Capitalist and the Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets (Mises Institute, 2010).
Richard N. Langlois, The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy (Routledge, 2007).
Nicolai J. Foss, Strategy, Economic Organization, and the Knowledge Economy: The Coordination of Firms and Resources (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Raghu Garud, Arun Kumaraswamy, and Richard N. Langlois, eds., Managing in the Modular Age: Architectures, Networks and Organizations (Blackwell, 2003).
Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, eds., Entrepreneurship and the Firm: Austrian Perspectives on Economic Organization (Elgar, 2002).
Nicolai J. Foss and Volker Mahnke, eds., Competence, Governance, and Entrepreneurship: Advances in Economic Strategy Research (Oxford, 2000).
Nicolai J. Foss and Paul L. Robertson, eds., Resources, Technology, and Strategy: Explorations in the Resource-based Perspective (Routledge, 2000).

%d bloggers like this: