Institut for Statskundskab

Measuring Social Capital: An International Comparison

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  • Institut for Statskundskab
How to construct a robust measure of social capital? This paper contains two contributions. The first is an attempt to establish a broad social capital measure based on four indicators, the Freedom House Index, an index of perceived corruption from Transparency International, and scores on civic participation and generalized trust. This measure is then applied by comparing the level of social capital in 25 countries from Western and Eastern Europe. Our nine cluster analysis shows that Switzerland has the highest score, followed by the Netherlands and Scandinavia. At the other end of the continuum we find post-communist countries and Southern Italy. The findings for this specific sample suggest that institutions matter for social capital and the relationship between decentralization and social capital emerges as a promising line of inquiry. Thus, the highest scoring countries in the sample may serve as institutional models for countries and regions aiming to increase their future level of social capital. More rigorous empirical research is needed within this field.
TidsskriftJournal of Comparative Policy Analysis
Sider (fra-til)275-292
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 2007

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