Social capital formation and intra familial correlation: a social panel perspective

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2009


Social capital is widely regarded to constitute an important indicator for the economic performance of a society. This paper analyzes the impact of various socio-demographic characteristics on social capital. Proxy variables for social capital are obtained from a comprehensive principal components analysis exercise using survey data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). The BHPS provides information on social and economic change at the individual and household levels in Britain and the UK with an annual survey of ca. 10,000 individuals from ca. 5,000 households. Based on the 13th wave of this database, we investigate the impact of exogenous qualities, individually acquired characteristics, and of the social environment using a spatial auto-regression framework. The results show that the formation of social capital can be modeled to a very high degree of statistical accuracy. The structural effect from the households contributes substantially to the social capital level of each household member. Thus, the social capital formation can be based equally on individual measures (such as education) and social contagion processes.

Published in

Singapore Economic Review


Volume: 54 (3):473-488




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