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The importance of linking social capital in unequal and fragmented societies: an analysis of perceived economic well-being in Turkish rural and urban households

  • Ümit İzmen
  • Yeşim Üçdoğruk GürelEmail author
Special Issue Paper
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Abstract

Most research on social networks and economic well-being concentrates on bonding and bridging social capital, while the importance of linking social capital is retrograded. However, linking social capital in the form of ties between the ordinary people and people representing the institutionalized networks of power and authority plays an important role in offering the poor, the access to critical resources. There is a gap in the literature on equal access to networks of power and authority, especially in fragmented and unequal societies. This article attempts to fill the gap in the literature by undertaking the case of Turkey. Specifically, besides demographic factors, we investigate the importance of different forms of social capital, in explaining changes in perceived economic well-being levels in Turkey after 2010. The results should help policy makers in designing redistributive policies in a fragmented society. We used microdata to determine the importance of demographic factors and different forms of social capital in explaining changes in perceived economic well-being levels in Turkey after 2010. The results show that linking social capital, which we have captured through the political ties of the respondents, is the most important factor. The results suggest that social capital accumulation should be taken into account in redistributive policies. Furthermore, linking social capital might have undesired effects if there is unequal opportunity for different groups. Therefore, it is important to support a balanced and equitable distribution of social capital to attain a long-lasting and egalitarian improvement in economic welfare.

JEL Classification

A14 O18 Z13 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We extend our deep gratitude to KONDA for opening up their data bases to us. Without this opportunity, it will not be possible to undertake this study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International RelationsNamık Kemal UniversityTekirdağTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Economics, Faculty of BusinessDokuz Eylül UniversityIzmirTurkey

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