50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
The aim of the study is to analyze the representative variables of the stock of social capital available in the São Paulo State's counties, Brazil, according to the theory and methodology proposed by Robert Putnam. It describes some representative elements of social capital in the counties of São Paulo (the most developed state of Brazil) using proxies to represent association, civism and trust among people. Associative life is reflected on the presence of organizations and entities that contribute to the socialization of individuals, favoring human interrelations. The civism can be seen in electoral participation and mass medias. On the absence of a variable that could better describe the trust criminality is used as a proxy to lack of trust. Additionally this research discusses some problems related to variables that are theoretically described as proxies of social capital but were discharged due to statistical, methodological or conceptual problems. Using principal components factor analysis six factors were obtained to represent the social capital in the state of São Paulo, explaining 58.5% of the total variance of the 22 variables used in analysis. This study attests the existence of positive relation between the variables that represent different forms of social capital, according to the proxies used, and the variable that represents development - Human Development Index (HDI-M) in São Paulo state counties.