How novel is social capital: Three cases from the British history that reflect social capital

Semih Akçomak & P. Stoneman


Social capital increases efficiency by reducing transaction costs, creating new forms of information exchange and by inducing change in individual attitudes. How Royal Society of London, the Media and the Private Prosecution Societies functioned in the 17th and 18th century Britain display astonishing similarities with these three elements that have been identified by contemporary scholars. By and large current literature treats social capital as novel phenomenon, as “manna from heaven”. We argue that social capital is no such magical discovery and it could emerge whenever and wherever social networks exist.

UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872

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