Social capital in transition: A first look at the evidence

Martin Raiser, Christian Haerpfer, Thomas Nowotny, Claire Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides what we believe to be the first collection of data on social capital in the transition countries of Central/Eastern Europe and of the former Soviet Union. Using data from the World Values Survey 1990 and 1995 we document the degree of trust and of civic participation and find that these indicators of social capital are significantly lower than in OECD countries. The paper also provides a preliminary investigation of the link between social capital and growth during transition. Unlike in market economies, in transition countries trust is not positively related to growth; while participation in civic organisations shows a positive correlation. We also construct indicators of trust in public institutions and find positive correlations with growth rates. The positive association of civic participation with growth is robust to the use of instrumental variable techniques to control for potential problems of endogeneity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-720
Number of pages28
JournalSociologicky Casopis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Social capital in transition: A first look at the evidence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this