WP 54|13 Disentangling the relationship between nonprofit and social capital

Research Area: Measurement and Impact
Edited by: Fabio Sabatini, Giacomo Degli Antoni

We use a unique dataset to study how participation in two specific types of nonprofit organizations, i.e. social welfare associations and social cooperatives, affects individual social capital. A descriptive analysis shows that both the types of organization have a positive impact. The econometric analysis reveals that social welfare associations play a significantly greater role in the development of volunteers’ networks of cooperative relationships, favouring the creation of weak ties which are used to exchange information and advice, and offering the opportunity to establish stronger ties entailing concrete mutual support. Within social cooperatives, workers develop their individual social capital to a greater extent than volunteers.

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