Development under Conditions of Inequality and Distrust: An Exploration of the Role of Social Capital and Social Cohesion in Latin America
Jan 2007
Intended as a contribution to the discussion of the relevance of social capital and social cohesion to Latin American development, this paper treats the two as assets for development and the creation of welfare. The paper defines the concepts, including their uses and limitations, and analyzes some of the key relationships involved. It also introduces an index of social cohesion and presents evidence of positive linkages between levels of social cohesion and development-related outcomes such as growth, investment and innovation capacity, governmental effectiveness, the quality of public policies, and the predictability of the policy environment. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for the choice of policies and public action.