9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN09 Economic Sociology

2009-09-05 09:00:00 2009-09-05 10:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 09:00 - 10:30 Faces of Capitalism Building AA, AA.229

Human and social capital as intermediate variables of economic development

Early modernization theorists suggested that economic development is closely related to cultural values whether in the form of economic determinism or cultural determinism. More recently, some authors have advocated a middle ground in which some variables are more compatible with some stages of economic development, and that is possible to track the parallel evolution of culture and economy. Although modernization may be a progression, this process may have different patterns. Regions of the same level of development may have different configurations related to different types of capital that may have led to this result. Human capital may be defined as the education, training and long-term health embodied in the workforce. From the standpoint of modernisation theory, it could be conjectured that a reasonable sum of human capital is necessary for a nation?s transition from a traditional society (mainly agricultural) and that a larger sum of human capital is required for the progression a modern to a post-modern society (mainly service sector workforce). Moreover, social capital can advance national and regional economic development through micro and macro processes. At the micro-level, horizontal social ties characterised by social integration and interpersonal trust, can foster economic development by reducing transaction costs, facilitating information sharing and peer monitoring. At the macro-level, social capital may benefit the economic system by producing a more efficient public administration, high quality social policies and the reduction of corruption. This work has the purpose to analyze the intermediate role that both human and social capital may have on economic development by studying their influence on economic values, beliefs and behaviours. Results from a national representative sample will be present and discussed.