Trust and social capital research in Hungarian economic sociology, 1995-2012. A literature review

Ildikó Dén-Nagy


The concepts of social networks, social capital and trust and their impact on the economic arrangements and performance of nascent capitalist economies have raised many research questions in the post-socialist countries of Europe. The following paper is designed to summarize the directions and conclusions of the empirical research which has been carried out in connection with trust and social capital in Hungary between 1995 and 2012. To maintain a clear and narrow focus, this literature review pays attention only to those papers that undertake analysis in the field of economy. This includes such research that is designed to investigate the trust and social capital-related aspects of economic transactions, economic behaviors and attitudes. Correspondingly, papers that discuss issues like trust in democratic institutions (e.g. Boda, Medve-Bálint 2012), the effects of social capital on social inequality (e.g. Lengyel, Bartha, 2000; Bartus, 2001), on efficiency in education (e.g. Fényes, 2008), on wage income (e.g. Sik, 2004; Hermann, Kopasz, 2011) or trust and social capital from the perspective of immigration (e.g. Gödri, 2010; Göncz, Lengyel, Tóth, 2012) are omitted intentionally. I also leave out of consideration the wide range of literature which focuses on corruption (e.g. a recent social capital-related paper by Szántó, Tóth, Varga, 2012). Although the phenomenon of corruption is closely related to the question of trust, relationship networks and social capital and has been intensively researched in post-socialist countries, including Hungary, research about corruption is a distinct literature within economic sociology which is too broad to be discussed substantively in the frame of this paper.

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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X