Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Urban and Public Affairs

Committee Chair

Goetzke, Frank

Author's Keywords

Economic successl Social capital; Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods; Place-based policies


Social capital (Sociology); Neighborhoods--Social aspects; Neighborhoods--Economic aspects; Success--Economic aspects


This study examines the relationship between neighborhoods, social capital and economic success. In the model developed in this research, social capital mediates the relationship between neighborhoods and economic success. Social capital represents social networks with their associated norms and resources and increases economic success by facilitating cooperation and by lowering transaction costs. Neighborhoods affect social capital through local interactions, network exclusion, social learning and social identity processes. An understudied part of these relationships is the existence of endogeneity among the key variables. Using data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, this study uses structural equation modeling to test the model empirically and find that social capital and economic success are endogenous, but while social capital increases economic success, economic success decreases social capital, ceteris paribus. I also find that social capital is highly dependent on neighborhood levels of social capital. These results suggest that place-based policies may be an effective method for increasing economic success.