Social Capital and Racial Inequality in Labor Force Participation

Colleen Heflin, University of Kentucky
Seok-Woo Kwon, University of Kentucky

Though sociologists have long theorized about the role of social capital in producing individual level economic outcomes, considerable problems with the measurement of social capital at the community-level have plagued its empirical testing. However, with the release of recent datasets on social capital, the Social Capital Benchmark Survey and the Community Indicators Project, it is now possible to measure social capital more precisely for 89 communities in the United States. Building on this recent development, we extend prior work examining racial inequality in labor market outcomes by adding a community-level social capital component and investigating its influence on racial inequality in employment at the individual level.

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Presented in Session 37: Racial Differentials in Schooling and Occupations