Category Archives: Social Capital

Stigler’s List and Social Capital

I just reviewed an edited collection on social capital for the Economic Record, and kicked off with what I think might be the standard economic response to most books of this type: George Stigler once observed that economists’ objections are … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Social Capital

Success has many parents…

Last week, I wrote up the 2020 summit idea of providing a HECS discount in exchange for volunteering in a disadvantaged community. In today’s Higher Ed section of the Australian, Andrew Darbyshire claims credit for the notion. I don’t doubt that … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Social Capital | 2 Comments

In my wild erratic fancy, visions come to me of Clancy

Do you think that rural Australians are more likely to trust one another? I did. But a new experiment from the CSIRO suggests otherwise. An experimental approach to comparing trust in pastoral and non-pastoral Australia McAllister RRJ, Reeson AF It … Continue reading

Posted in Social Capital | 6 Comments


Another terrific paper from Steven Levitt – this one coauthored with Roland Fryer, one of America’s top young economists. They’ve turned their attention to the economics of the KKK. Hatred and Profits: Getting Under the Hood of the Ku Klux Klan … Continue reading

Posted in Social Capital, US Politics | 1 Comment

Diversity and Trust

Robert Putnam has published his first piece of research in his project on the negative relationship between ethnic diversity and social capital. This has been a long-running research agenda for Putnam (I worked for him on it as a research … Continue reading

Posted in Social Capital | 2 Comments

Me, myself and I

Vibewire is currently hosting a debate between Ryan Heath ( and Daniel Donahoo (.com) over individualism versus community. I’d like to see slightly longer contributions from each of them (the conversation is a bit staccato at present), but it’s a … Continue reading

Posted in Social Capital

Media diversity

In case  you missed it the first time around, today’s Australian runs a version of my paper on trust and diversity. I’ll be talking about it on the Life Matters program this morning at about 9am. (On an unrelated note, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics Generally, Social Capital | 15 Comments