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Research Publications > Peer-Reviewed Articles > Place Matters

Abstract

Communities with high levels of social capital enjoy an array of positive economic and community development outcomes. We assess the role of several key community characteristics, including the strength of government institutions, in explaining local social capital variation. The analysis draws on data from US counties and includes regression modeling and a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition to explore differences in social capital across an area’s metropolitan status and region. The data show social capital determinants vary by place both due to the endowment levels of these determinants and the productive value of their coefficients.

Why This Matters

Social capital is vital for small business development, and many governments are increasingly using it as a policy lever. The data suggest that the ability of governments to independently influence social capital varies, which hints at the need to partner with place-based community institutions.

Suggested Citations

McCall, Jamie, Hoyman, Michele, Bussing, Austin, and Laurie Paarlberg. 2020. “Place Matters: Government Capacity, Community Characteristics, and Social Capital.” Journal of Public Policy, in press. https://doi.org/10.46712/place.matters.

McCall, Jamie, Hoyman, Michele, Bussing, Austin, and Laurie Paarlberg. 2020. “Replication Data for: Place Matters: Government Capacity, Community Characteristics, and Social Capital.” Distributed by the Harvard Dataverse. https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/N3RPNR.

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