Summer courses. 2007


Run by: D. José Mª Agirre Eskisabel. D. Ángel Abrisketa Basterretxe. Eustat. Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Objectives: From the ‘seventies onwards, when some economists began systematic attempts to measure economic growth, it became clear that this does not depend solely on the contribution of factors of capital and work, but also of other variables, originally attributable to technological progress. With the passage of time, measurement techniques have become more sophisticated and some of these “intangible” variables have been quantified, such as human capital and investment in R&D.

The concept of social capital arises as another “intangible” asset that has an impact on economic development. In recent years, social capital has occupied an increasingly important place in the research agenda of institutions such as the UN, the World Bank and prestigious universities, with centres dedicated to the study of economic growth and development. In our territory, research in this field is being conducted by the BBVA Foundation.

What is social capital? One of the subject’s leading experts, Robert Putnam, defines social capital as the set of intangible factors (values, rules, attitudes, trust, networks and similar elements) that are found within a community and that facilitate coordination and cooperation in order to obtain mutual benefits. The expression, social capital, underlines the value of social relationships and the role of cooperation and trust to achieve collective or economic results, generating value for the people associated.

Although conventional economics has ignored these intangible variables until recently, these factors have a significant weight in these countries’ development possibilities. The first econometric studies to investigate the measurement of social capital demonstrate the existence of a correlation between, for example, a community’s capacity for cooperation and associationism and its well-being. The greater the associationism, the greater the potential for economic growth that a particular society may achieve.

From the point of view of business organisations, social capital is the capacity of a group of people to generate relationship processes that have a positive impact on the development and empowerment of the business, social or community network where they interact. Their links go beyond those covered by strictly business relations, becoming a highly useful instrument for those who direct and manage organisations.

The objective of the course is to offer a broad panorama regarding the theories of social capital produced in the field of economics and economic sociology, with the aim of revealing its importance as a factor in competitiveness and development. In recent years, a growing body of research has attributed an important part of the socioeconomic development of nations, regions and communities to social capital. This course also sets out to explain the principal mechanisms and processes through which social capital may be one of the key driving forces behind development, and if it can be fostered by public policies.

The content of the course is arranged into three days: the first tackles the more general and theoretical subjects related to social capital, as well as the major current avenues of research. On the second, we look at its measurement and applications. The final day covers concrete experiences of social capital in our society.



- - -2 JULY - - -

9:00 h Documentation distributed.

9:15 h Opening Session. Quicktime Format (17,9 MB)

9:30 h "La confianza como dimensión central del capital social: consideraciones teóricas y evidencia empírica en 13 países" Quicktime Format (82,4 MB)

11:00 h "El capital social y teorías sociológicas" (PDF format document 57kb) Quicktime Format (90,1 MB)

12:15 h "El capital social y líneas de investigación" (PDF format document 41kb) Quicktime Format (82,8 MB)

13:30 h Summary session.


- - - 3 JULY - - -

9:15 h "Medición y aplicaciones del capital social" (PDF format document 29kb) Quicktime Format (84,2 MB)

10:45 h "Medición y aplicaciones del capital social en Finlandia" (PDF format document 21kb) Quicktime Format (74,3 MB)

12:15 h "Medición del capital social en redes institucionales" (PDF format document 18kb) Quicktime Format (73,8 MB)

13:30 h Summary session.


- - - 4 JULY - - -

9:15 h "Redes y asociacionismo en el mundo" Quicktime Format (90,2 MB)

10:45 h "Aproximación económica a la medición del capital social" Quicktime Format (103 MB)

12:15 h "Proyecto del capital social en la C. A. de Euskadi" (PDF format document 308kb)Quicktime Format (79,4 MB)

13:30 h Summary session.