A Synthetic Indicator Method Applied to Putnam’s Social Capital Indicators: The Case of Italy

Marco Carradore


In his 1993 book titled Making Democracy Work, R. D. Putnam (1993) paved the way for many studies on the distribution of social capital in the different Italian regions. Moreover, he introduced the use of some ‘specific’ indicators to measure social capital considered as civicness, which have ‘systematically’ been adopted in subsequent investigations. In the present essay, the synthetic indicator method, which was designed by Pena (1977; 2009), was applied to the data collected by other scholars (specifically, Cartocci, 2007; Bordandini, Cartocci, 2014; Vanelli, Cartocci, 2015) who replicated Putnam’s research (1993), in order to create a synthetic indicator of social capital. This ‘methodological experiment’ confirms that, in the northern part of Italy, civicness is more widespread than in the South. Furthermore, it proves that voluntary activities and blood donation actions have a major impact on social capital indicators.


regional social capital; synthetic indicator; Putnam

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13136/isr.v8i3.244

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