Social capital has long been associated with opportunities of access to valuable resources that individuals, groups, communities, and places can extract from the social structure emerging from their interactions. Despite the overall consensus on the structural signature of social capital, there is still controversy over the relative benefits associated with different types of social structure. In this article, we advocate a two-faceted perspective on social capital, regarded as value originating from both closed (rich in third-party relationships) and open (rich in brokerage opportunities) bridging structures. We uncover these structures from place-centric networks and investigate their association with key socio-economic indicators. To this end, we draw on aggregated mobile phone usage data, and construct the place-centric communication and mobility networks in the city of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire. We begin by defining appropriate network metrics to capture the interplay between bonding and bridging social structures in each of the 10 districts (communes) in Abidjan. We then examine the correlation between these metrics and a number of district-level socio-economic indicators related to economic prosperity, wealth, security and democratic participation. Our findings suggest that both closed and open structures can serve as wellsprings of social capital: while closed bonding structures are associated with higher economic prosperity, open bridging structures are associated with increased democratic participation and security. By uncovering sources of social capital from communication and mobility place-centric networks in a developing country, our work contributes to a better understanding of how these networks could be used to enhance and sustain socio-economic growth and prosperity, and ultimately paves the way towards a broader comparative study of social capital in developed and developing countries.

The bridging and bonding structures of place-centric networks: Evidence from a developing country

Didem Gundogdu;Bruno Lepri
2019

Abstract

Social capital has long been associated with opportunities of access to valuable resources that individuals, groups, communities, and places can extract from the social structure emerging from their interactions. Despite the overall consensus on the structural signature of social capital, there is still controversy over the relative benefits associated with different types of social structure. In this article, we advocate a two-faceted perspective on social capital, regarded as value originating from both closed (rich in third-party relationships) and open (rich in brokerage opportunities) bridging structures. We uncover these structures from place-centric networks and investigate their association with key socio-economic indicators. To this end, we draw on aggregated mobile phone usage data, and construct the place-centric communication and mobility networks in the city of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire. We begin by defining appropriate network metrics to capture the interplay between bonding and bridging social structures in each of the 10 districts (communes) in Abidjan. We then examine the correlation between these metrics and a number of district-level socio-economic indicators related to economic prosperity, wealth, security and democratic participation. Our findings suggest that both closed and open structures can serve as wellsprings of social capital: while closed bonding structures are associated with higher economic prosperity, open bridging structures are associated with increased democratic participation and security. By uncovering sources of social capital from communication and mobility place-centric networks in a developing country, our work contributes to a better understanding of how these networks could be used to enhance and sustain socio-economic growth and prosperity, and ultimately paves the way towards a broader comparative study of social capital in developed and developing countries.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11582/319328
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
social impact