LSE LSE Research Laboratory LSE
LSE Research Laboratory (RLAB)

Abstract for:

The Bright Side of Social Capital: How 'Bridging' Makes Italian Provinces More Innovative

Riccardo  Crescenzi,  Luisa  Gagliardi,  Marco  Percoco,  November 2011
Paper No' SERCDP0096: | Full paper (pdf)
Save Reference as: BibTeX BibTeX File | Endote EndNote Import File
Keywords: Innovation; social capital, knowledge transfer, regional development

JEL Classification: O31; O33; R15

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: SERC Discussion Papers
Share this page: Google Bookmarks Google Bookmarks | Facebook Facebook | Twitter Twitter

Abstract:

Social capital has remained relatively underexplored in innovation literature. Existing studies have failed to reach a consensus on its impact on local innovative performance: some empirical analyses emphasize a positive effect, others speak about a ‘dark side’ of social capital. This paper aims to fill this gap by shedding new light on the differential role of ‘bonding’ and ‘bridging’ social capital. The quantitative analysis of the innovative performance of the Italian provinces shows that social capital is an important predictor of innovative performance after controlling for ‘traditional’ knowledge inputs (R&D investments and human capital endowment) and other characteristics of the local economy. However, only ‘bridging’ social capital – based on weak ties – can be identified as the key driver of the process of innovation while ‘bonding’ social capital is shown to be negative for innovation. Instrumental variable analysis makes it possible to identify clear causal links between bridging (positive) and bonding (negative) social capital and innovation.