Essay about Social Capital And Economic Approach

1084 Words Aug 31st, 2016 null Page
In An Economic Approach to Social Capital, Glaeser, Laibson, and Sacerdote criticize conventional ways of viewing social capital, attempting instead to study it under a more economically driven lens. By developing models in which social capital can be economically studied, Glaeser et. al determine that the necessary definition of social capital, for their purposes, is to classify it as belonging to an individual, rather than its community. Through this concept of individual social capital, it becomes easier to infer how it is rising among various people in some places, while not in others. This determination thus allows the study of these areas with high and low social capital so that its benefits can be identified and more clearly linked. From the outset of the article, it is evident that one of Glaeser’s main goals is to first familiarize the reader with what social capital will mean in the context of the economic models about to be covered. In stark contrast to its usual definition in which it is connected to the relationships among people in a community, social capital is defined by Glaeser et. Al (2002) “as a person’s social characteristics- including social skills, charisma, and the size of his Rolodex.” (Glaeser et. al, p.F438) This definition is created by Glaeser since the economic models he develops will not yield relevant results pertaining to what he is seeking to find, unless social capital can be fitted to an individual. Since the goal is to “analyze the…

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