Timur Natkhov1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Social capital and education

2012. No. 2. P. 62–67 [issue contents]

Timur Natkhov, Ph.D. in Economics, Associate Professor in the Subdepartment of Institutional Economics, National Research University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: timur.natkhov@gmail.com

The paper presents a brief evolution of studies on the relationship between education and social capital in different countries. A distinctive feature of these studies is their interdisciplinary nature, as they combine theories and methods of different social sciences.

To identify mechanisms of interrelation between education and social capital, three levels of interaction are examined: family (microlevel), local communities (mezolevel), and the country as a whole (macrolevel). It appears that social capital at the family and local community levels is an important factor of boosting the educational level and the accessibility of high quality education. At the microlevel, social capital explains most variations in academic performance, even with regard to financial and human capital of parents. Moreover, social capital in families determines efficiency of spending on education. At the mezolevel, social capital improves academic performance and raises chances of getting higher education as a result of intense parent-teacher and parent-parent communication. Close social ties of families provide them with access to institutional resources (graduate communities, engagement in academic milieu, etc.) which may become valuable social assets.

Empirical studies at the macrolevel have revealed that education, in its turn, has positive external effects, such as building trust, learning civic norms, or engaging more actively in public and political life. That is, effects of education are not limited to economic returns. Education plays a powerful role, being both the result and the factor of social capital accumulation at different levels. 

Citation: Natkhov T. (2012) Sotsial'nyy kapital i obrazovanie [Social capital and education]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no2, pp. 62-67.