Social Indicators Research

, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 189–207 | Cite as

The Compensating Income Variation of Social Capital

  • Wim GrootEmail author
  • Henriëtte Maassen van den Brink
  • Bernard van Praag


There is a small but growing literature on the determinants of social capital. Most of these studies use a measure of trust to define social capital empirically. In this paper we use three different measures of social capital: the size of the individual’s social network, the extent of their social safety net and membership of unions or associations. A second contribution to the literature is that we analyze what social capital contributes to our well-being. Based on this, we calculate the compensating income variation of social capital. We find differences in social capital when we differentiate according to individual characteristics such as education, age, place of residence, household composition and health. Household income generally has a statistically significant effect. We find a significant effect of social capital on␣life␣satisfaction. Consequently, the compensating income variation of social capital is substantial.


life satisfaction social capital 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wim Groot
    • 1
    Email author
  • Henriëtte Maassen van den Brink
    • 2
  • Bernard van Praag
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health SciencesMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of General EconomicsUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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