Social capital is broadly defined as “the information, trust, and norms of reciprocity inherent in one’s social networks” (Woolcock, 1998, p. 153). There is a growing consensus that social capital has an economic payoff for those individuals (Erickson, 2001; Kim & Aldrich, 2005; Knack & Keefer, 1997) and communities (Engbers, Rubin & Aubuchon, 2016; Kawachi, Kennedy, Lochner, & Prothrow-Stith, 1997; Oh, Lee, & Bush, 2014; Safford, 2009) that invest in it. In some instances, it may be the determining factor in whether a community recovers from economic decline (Safford, 2009).
Over the past 30 years, there has been an evolving body of literature on social capital and economic development, which demonstrates that strong social networks foster entrepreneurial activity (Kim & Aldrich, 2005), improve job prospects (Erickson, 2001), and support the development of human capital (Croninger & Lee, 2001). There also has been significant developments in the understanding of the effects of social capital on the outcome that matters most for many people: household income. However, this body of literature on social capital’s income-enhancing effects has been constrained by concerns about aggregation and the use of methodology with limited ability to demonstrate causation.
Evaluate the concepts of social capital and economic development. Discuss and critique the different ways they have been defined, measured, and applied by scholars. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these concepts and what are the areas of agreement and disagreement about them and how they should be measured? Also, assess their practical usefulness.
The essay should be 7 pages double spaced (approximately 1700 words) with at least 8 peer-reviewed journal citations from 2015 or more recent as references in APA format.