Faculty Publications

Title

Social capital and government performance in Iowa communities

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Urban Affairs

Volume

23

Issue

3-4

First Page

375

Last Page

389

Abstract

Putnam (1993) provides impressive evidence that the enduring geographic patterns of social capital in Italy influence regional government performance. His work has motivated other scholars to search for a link between social capital and performance among nations and other large subnational entities. The purpose of this study is to extend this line of research to the community level. To accomplish this a unique data set consisting of the opinions of approximately 100 people in each of 114 Iowa communities was collected. The data made it possible to examine the extent to which towns characterized as high in social capital by their residents tend to be towns where citizens see their local governments as more responsive and effective. The analyses show a clear relationship: local governments are viewed as more responsive and effective in towns described as high in social capital by their citizens. Additional analyses reveal that social capital is also related to the upkeep of public streets and parks in the communities. Both of these relationships remain significant even after controlling for a variety of socioeconomic factors.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2001

DOI of published version

10.1111/0735-2166.00095

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