+7 925 966 4690, 9am6pm (GMT+3), Monday – Friday
ИД «Финансы и кредит»






Economic Analysis: Theory and Practice

Estimating the return on social capital in Russian conditions

Vol. 21, Iss. 5, MAY 2022

Received: 4 April 2022

Received in revised form: 12 April 2022

Accepted: 23 April 2022

Available online: 30 May 2022


JEL Classification: D71, I31, J31

Pages: 827–851


Roman M. MEL'NIKOV Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Moscow, Russian Federation


Subject. The article investigates the role of social capital as a factor of competitiveness in the Russian labor market.
Objectives. The purpose is to estimate the impact of social capital on employment prospects, wages, work and life satisfaction in Russian conditions.
Methods. I use the data of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey to estimate the return on social capital. Summary indicators of social capital are estimated, using the factor analysis of survey variables that characterize relationships with relatives, work colleagues, friends, etc. To consider the effect of self-selection in employment for women, I use the Heckman model.
Results. The study revealed that good relations with colleagues and the ability to use their resources to solve professional problems closely correlate with wage growth, minimize risks of unemployment, and contribute to increasing the job and life satisfaction. The ability to get support from relatives does not affect success in the labor market, but has a significant positive impact on life satisfaction. Having good friends has a positive effect on both life and work satisfaction, especially for women.
Conclusions. A significant impact of good relations with colleagues on success in the labor market and subjective well-being demonstrates the importance of forming and developing a network of professional contacts as a factor of building a successful career. Friendly atmosphere, mutual support of labor collective members, good personal relations with the closest partners are important factors of success in Russian conditions. They require special attention of managers.

Keywords: social capital, human capital, social networks, labor market, subjective well-being


  1. Smith A. Lectures on Jurisprudence. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1978, 610 p.
  2. Bourdieu P. The Forms of Capital. In: Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education. Ed. J. Richardson. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 1986, pp. 15–29.
  3. Coleman J.S. Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital. American Journal of Sociology, 1988, vol. 94, pp. 95–120. URL: Link
  4. Putnam R. Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1994, 280 p.
  5. Kharin A.G. [Social capital of the organization: A concept and evaluation techniques]. Ekonomicheskii analiz: teoriya i praktika = Economic Analysis: Theory and Practice, 2017, vol. 16, iss. 4, pp. 711–725. (In Russ.) URL: Link
  6. Gerasimova L.A. [Social capital: Key issues and factors of development as part of the formation of human capital and satisfaction of socio-economic needs of the population]. Regional'naya ekonomika: teoriya i praktika = Regional Economics: Theory and Practice, 2018, vol. 16, iss. 6, pp. 1115–1126. (In Russ.) URL: Link
  7. Pretty J. Social Capital and the Collective Management of Resources. Science, 2003, vol. 302, iss. 5652, pp. 1912–1914. URL: Link
  8. Nichols T. Russian Democracy and Social Capital. Social Science Information, 1996, vol. 35, iss. 4, pp. 629–642. URL: Link
  9. Bakhtigaraeva A.I., Stavinskaya A.A. [Can trust become a factor of economic growth? Dynamic changes in the level of trust of Russian youth]. Voprosy Ekonomiki, 2020, no. 7, pp. 92–107. (In Russ.) URL: Link
  10. Kosarev V.S., Pavlov P.N., Kaukin A.S. [Social Capital as a Factor of Economic Growth in the Regions of Russia]. Ekonomicheskaya politika, 2019, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 124–149. URL: Link? (In Russ.)
  11. Borisova E.I., Bryzgalin V.A., Levina I.A. [Trust and economic growth: Is there a relation?]. Voprosy Ekonomiki, 2020, no. 10, pp. 68–82. (In Russ.) URL: Link
  12. Flap H., Volker B. Creation and Returns of Social Capital. London, Routledge, 2004, 308 p.
  13. Helliwell J.F. Well-Being, Social Capital and Public Policy: Whats New? Economic Journal, 2006, vol. 116, iss. 510, pp. 34–45. URL: Link
  14. Stiglitz J.E. Formal and Informal Institutions. In: Dasgupta P., Serageldin I. (Eds) Social Capital: A Multifaceted Perspective. Washington, DC, World Bank, 2000, pp.59–68.
  15. Westlund H., Bolton R. Local Social Capital and Entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 2003, vol. 21, pp. 77–113. URL: Link
  16. Putnam R. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. N.Y., Simon and Schuster, 2000, 544 p.
  17. Portes A. The Two Meanings of Social Capital. Sociological Forum, 2000, vol. 15, iss. 1, pp. 1–12. URL: Link
  18. Stanton-Salazar R., Dornbusch S. Social capital and the reproduction of inequality: Information networks among Mexican-origin high school students. Sociology of Education, 1995, vol. 68, iss. 2, pp. 116–135. URL: Link
  19. Urwin P., Di Pietro G., Sturgis P., Jack G. Measuring the returns to networking and the accumulation of social capital: Any evidence of bonding, bridging, or linking? The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 2008, vol. 67, iss. 5, pp. 941–968. URL: Link
  20. Leeves G.D. Increasing returns to education and the impact on social capital. Education Economics, 2014, vol. 22, iss. 5, pp. 449–470. URL: Link
  21. Lancee B. The economic returns of immigrants’ bonding and bridging social capital: The case of the Netherlands. International Migration Review, 2010, vol. 44, iss. 1, pp. 202–226. URL: Link
  22. Lancee B. The economic returns of bonding and bridging social capital for immigrant men in Germany. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 2012, vol. 35, iss. 4, pp. 664–683. URL: Link
  23. Krishna A. Active Social Capital: Tracing the Roots of Development and Democracy. N.Y., Columbia University Press, 2002, 192 p.
  24. Bin Wu, Pretty J.N. Social connectedness in marginal rural China: The case of farmer innovation circles in Zhidan, North Shaanxi. Agriculture and Human Values, 2004, vol. 21, iss. 1, pp. 81–92. URL: Link
  25. Gannon B., Roberts J. Social capital: Exploring the theory and empirical divide. Empirical Economics, 2020, vol. 58, pp. 899–919. URL: Link
  26. Kuflina E.D., Roshchina Ya.M. Differentsiatsiya sotsial'nogo kapitala rossiyan i ee faktory. V kn.: Vestnik Rossiiskogo monitoringa ekonomicheskogo polozheniya i zdorov'ya naseleniya NIU VShE (RLMS-HSE) [Differentiation of social capital of Russians and its factors. In: Vestnik of Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey - HSE]. Moscow, NRU HSE Publ., 2018, iss. 8, pp. 113–135.
  27. Leeves G.D., Herbert R. Gender Differences in Social Capital Investment: Theory and Evidence. Economic Modelling, 2014, vol. 37, pp. 377–385. URL: Link
  28. Heckman J.J. Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error. Econometrica, 1979, vol. 47, iss. 1, pp. 153–161. URL: Link

View all articles of issue


ISSN 2311-8725 (Online)
ISSN 2073-039X (Print)

Journal current issue

Vol. 21, Iss. 6
June 2022