There is increasing interest in the roles that social capital and social networks can play both in economic development and also as part of effective development policies.The sociologist Robert Putnam has defined social capital as "connections among individuals – social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them."
Trust and Growth
"Being able to trust people might seem like a pleasant luxury, but economists are starting to believe that it's rather more important than that. Trust is about more than whether you can leave your house unlocked; it is responsible for the difference between the richest countries and the poorest." (Tim Harford)
There are different types of social capital
How can social networks promote growth and development?
The key effect of strong social capital is in building trust within and between people in a nation
Social capital can also have downsides including political favouritism, corruption, tribalism and ethnic politics – these are examples of negative social capital.
Supporting Videos on Social Capital
Marginal Revolution - The Importance of Trust
Social Networks and Economic Development
Professor Matthew Jackson of Stanford University explains that social networks are important even in developing countries
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