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Elisha Renne (Michigan)

Do Families "Invest" in Social Capital?

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Hofferth, Sandra, Johanne Boisjoly, and Greg J. Duncan. "Do Families "Invest" in Social Capital?" PSC Research Report No. 95-353. September 1995.

This paper investigates whether a family's access to social capital--defined here as perceived access to time and money help in an emergency from kin and friends--depends upon the family's past time and money investments in those kin and friends. It also examines the potential trade-offs between money and time help from friends and relatives. Data come from parents of children under age 18 who responded to a supplement on time and money assistance included in the 1980 wave of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Results suggest that while parents who invest in friend-based help networks have greater potential access to assistance, there is no significant link between investment in family and access to family-based assistance. Thus, while exchange describes social-capital linkages to friends, it does not describe family-based behaviors. Other findings are that time and money appear to be complements while investments in friends or family are substitutes.

Dataset(s): Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID): U.S., 1980.

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