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Divided we fall? The effect of manufacturing decline on the social capital of US communities

Diemer, Andreas ORCID: 0000-0002-5193-7739 (2023) Divided we fall? The effect of manufacturing decline on the social capital of US communities. Journal of Regional Science. ISSN 0022-4146

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Identification Number: 10.1111/jors.12664

Abstract

What happens to local communities when manufacturing disappears? I examine changes in associational density over nearly two decades as a proxy for social capital in US labor markets. Exploiting plausibly exogenous trade‐induced shocks to local manufacturing activity, I test whether deindustrialization is associated with greater or lower organizational membership. I uncover a robust negative relationship between the two variables, particularly acute in rural and mostly‐White areas. My findings, however, are sensitive to measurement: There are no clearly discernible effects of deindustrialization on social capital when I consider alternative proxies for the outcome. To reconcile these results, I present evidence suggesting that economic adversity may induce a qualitative, rather than quantitative, change in social capital.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2023 14:06
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 17:09
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/120355

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