Education and Dimensions of Social Capital: Do Educational Effects Differ Due to Educational Expansion and Social Security Expenditure?
Posted: 5 Aug 2009
Date Written: December 2008
To what extent does education affect formal and informal social capital, what is the influence of educational expansion, and welfare state contexts, and to what extent do educational effects on social capital differ under varying educational expansion and welfare state contexts? Multilevel estimates on 28 nations from the Eurobarometer (62.2; 2004) reveal that educational attainment increases all indicators of both formal and informal social capital except one: contact frequency with one's neighbours. We attributed this latter finding to the existence of a localist orientation among lower educated individuals. The higher educated profit from socialization at home, at school, and through their social networks in terms of social capital. There are no consistent patterns that show that in countries with a high level of educational expansion and social security expenditure, levels of formal or informal social capital are on average lower or higher. Cross-level interaction estimates, however, strongly suggest that educational expansion decreases educational differences in both formal and informal social capital. These findings suggest that individuals are motivated and recruited through networks to become socially active.
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