Title

Russia's Missing Link? Social Capital, Entrepreneurialism, and Economic Performance in Post-Communist Russia

Department

Political Science & International Affairs

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-2005

Abstract

This paper argues that there is a spurious correlation between social capital and economic development in the regions of post-communist Russia. This argument rejects Robert Putnam's collectivist hypothesis that social capital is the ubiquitous cause of economic growth. Rather, the data presented in this paper indicates that individualistic behavior in the form of entrepreneurialism, has been the prerequisite for growth in post-communist Russia. While social capital may slow or accelerate economic growth, it will not cause it. Without entrepreneurialism, social capital cannot be harnessed for economic development. In essence, social capital does not create wealth, entrepreneurs do.