Social Capital and Urban Growth

47 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2008 Last revised: 13 Sep 2014

See all articles by Edward L. Glaeser

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Charles Redlick

Harvard University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2008

Abstract

Social capital is often place-specific while schooling is portable, so the prospect of migration may reduce the returns to social capital and increase the returns to schooling. If social capital matters for urban success, it is possible that an area can get caught in a bad equilibrium where the prospect of out-migration reduces social capital investment and a lack of social capital investment makes out-migration more appealing. We present a simple model of that process and then test its implications. We find little evidence to suggest that social capital is correlated with either area growth or rates of out-migration. We do, however, find significant differences in the returns to human capital across space, and a significant pattern of skilled people disproportionately leaving declining areas. For people in declining areas, the prospect of out-migration may increase the returns to investment in human capital, but it does not seem to impact investment in social capital.

Suggested Citation

Glaeser, Edward L. and Redlick, Charles, Social Capital and Urban Growth (October 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14374. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1281564

Edward L. Glaeser (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Room 315A
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2150 (Phone)
617-496-1722 (Fax)

Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Charles Redlick

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
67
rank
128,465
Abstract Views
392
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information