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Access to Social Capital

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Boisjoly, Johanne, Greg J. Duncan, and Sandra Hofferth. 1995. "Access to Social Capital." Journal of Family Issues, 16(5): 609-31.

Defining social capital as perceived access to time and money help from friends and family, this article examines (a) the stock of social capital to which families have access, (b) the trade-off between access to money and time help, and (c) the association between perceived access to time and money and conventional measures of family economic well-being. Data come from the 1980 wave of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, an ongoing longitudinal survey of U.S. households. More than 9 out of 10 families reported access to social capital. Some evidence for isolation from social capital among families with a less-educated or older head was found. Surprisingly, families in very poor neighborhoods reported more access to social capital, primarily in friend-based networks. Finally, geographic mobility leads to increased social isolation, because it reduces family ties.

Data used: Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID): U.S., 1980.

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