Por Christiaan Grootaert and Thierry van Bastelaer

There is growing empirical evidence that social capital contributes significantly to sustainable development. Sustainability is to leave future generations as many, or more, opportunities as we ourselves have had. Growing opportunity requires an expanding stock of capital. The traditional composition of natural capital, physical or produced capital, and human capital needs to be broadened to include social capital. Social capital refers to the internal social and cultural coherence of society, the norms and values that govern interactions among people and the institutions in which they are embedded. Social capital is the glue that holds societies together and without which there can be no economic growth or human well- being. Without social capital, society at large will collapse, and today’s world presents some very sad examples of this.

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