How Persistent Is Social Capital?
Monday, 23 March, 2015

On Friday, March 20th, in the conference hall of ISET, Jan Fidrmuc from Brunel University gave a presentation titled "How Persistent Is Social Capital?”. At the beginning of the presentation, he has defined Social Capital (SK) as one of the factors of production which encourages cooperation and helps to overcome free-riding. Fidrmuc presented different measures of Social Capital such as social connections and interactions expressed in interpersonal relations, civic participation, trust, and reciprocity.

The guest speaker talked about the social and economic effects of Social Capital and argued that contemporaneous Social Capital need not be determined by long-term historical legacies.

Although some authors argue that authoritarian regime created the culture of mistrust resulting in lower levels of social capital compared to the libertarian regime, natural experiment observed by the presenter showed that partially or completely repopulated regions where people might suffer negative shocks due to reallocation, suffer little or no social capital gap after approximately two generations.

According to the results of the study, Social Capital is not likely to be persistent and destroyed, but Social Capital can be regenerated relatively quickly. Most of the current Social Capital stock is accumulated recently rather than inherited and historical legacies are not necessarily important with respect to Social Capital. According to the presenter, effective governance and rule of law increase Social Capital and makes it productive.

The presentation concluded with questions from the audience and lively discussion.

Click here to download the presentation

Click here to download the paper