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Framework for the Measure of Social Capital in New Zealand

Abstract 

For several years, social capital has been of interest in New Zealand. In particular, central and local government have recognised that an understanding of social capital may contribute to a broader analysis of policy options and issues. Relevant policy areas are varied – from education, health and justice, to industrial development, productivity and economic growth.

This document suggests a framework for the measurement of social capital in New Zealand.

Using an operational definition of social capital, the framework draws on the work of James Coleman, a Māori concept, and the experience of overseas field researchers to propose four structural components. These relate to behaviours, attitudes and values, population groups, and organisations. Several indicators are suggested for each component along with possible ways of measuring these indicators.

This paper is intended to stimulate discussion and to inform understanding of the statistical components and measures of social capital in New Zealand.

Printable version

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