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Seoul Journal of Economics - Vol. 35 , No. 2

[ Article ]
Seoul Journal of Economics - Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 187-206
Abbreviation: SJE
ISSN: 1225-0279 (Print)
Print publication date 31 May 2022
Received 28 Mar 2022 Revised 03 May 2022 Accepted 06 May 2022

Determinants of Social Capital in Korea
Donghun Joo ; Joonkyung Ha ; Man-Soo Joo
Donghun Joo, First Author, Associate Professor, Division of Economics, Hanyang University, Hanyangdaehak-ro 55, Sangnok-gu, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do 15588, South Korea, Tel: +82-31-400-5631 (
Joonkyung Ha, Professor, Division of Economics, Hanyang University, South Korea, Tel: +82-31-400-5622 (
Man-Soo Joo, Professor, Division of Economics, Hanyang University, South Korea, Tel: +82-31-400-5606 (

JEL Classification: Z10, O53, K30


This study investigates the determinants of social capital in Korea using the law compliance indicator as a measure of generalized trust. Unlike other measures for social capital, the compliance indicator has been compiled for each province in Korea. This novel feature allows for better identification strategies than the country-level data. With the panel data of 16 regions in Korea, we find that in the demographic factors, such as gender and age structure, the compliance indicator is low for males and the elderly. Among variables for economic activity, unemployment rate and per capita GRDP show statistically significant effects. Moreover, the causality tests between the compliance indicator and economic activity show bilateral directions as expected.

Keywords: Social capital, Trust, Compliance index, Law, Regions in Korea

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