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Beugelsdijk, S., Van Schaik, T. (2005). Social capital and growth in European regions: an empirical test. European Journal of Political Economy 21 (2), 301-324

We study a cross section of 54 European regions. The central question is whether regional differences in economic growth are related to social capital, in the form of generalized trust and associational activity. Substantiated by extensive robustness tests, we present evidence that growth differentials in European regions are positively related to social capital measured as associational activity. Hence, our results suggest that the thesis of Putnam et al. (1993) thesis on social capital in Italian regions can be generalized. Our analysis also suggests that it is not the mere existence of network relationships that stimulates regional economic growth, but active involvement in these relationships.


Beugelsdijk, Sjoerd

Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, Ph.D, is Full Professor International Business and Management at the University of Groningen Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

Van Schaik, Ton

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