From metaphor to concept -- Networks in use -- A walk on the dark side -- Future tense or present perfect? : social capital in a changing world -- Policy and politics : social capital in the real world
The socioeconomic power of social capital A double test of Putnam’s civic society argument Gunnar Svendsen and Jens F.L. Srensen Danish Institute of Rural Research and Development, Esbjerg, Denmark Purpose – According to Putnam, civic engagement fosters a cooperative structure and generalized trust. This leads to accumulation of social capital, in the form of inclusive, cooperative networks that are economically productive. The aim of this paper is to evaluate critically this thesis. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing upon data from rural Denmark, this paper double tests Putnam’s somewhat simplistic model of social capital leading to higher levels of economic performance. Findings – In test one, which is based on statistical data, it is found that social capital measured as the density of voluntary associations does not in any way influence levels of economic performance.