W(h)ither Social Capital?
Where did everyone go? What are they doing? Will it ever be like old times?
Fall is in the air. Prices are still up. It’s a perfect time for random walks.
Things we think
It all depends on who you know . . .
Whither (or wither?) Social Capital
Social capital is an underexplored driver of pandemic-related “disruption.” By disruption, I mean the bucket of recent market phenomena that includes “the great resignation,” “supply chain disruption,” “labor shortage,” and even YOLO meme stonking.
That’s an unspecified claim, so let me specify: social capital refers to the relationships, networks and associations that evolve (or devolve) when social animals, like people, “live in a society.” Social capital helps generate and transfer “useful” information—news, gossip, opportunity, insights and skills, but also vaguer signals like trust, prestige, norms and reputation.
When the pandemic dislodged routinized patterns of social behavior—both work patterns and life patterns—old social capital was lost. Approximately 200,000 extra businesses closed during the pandemic. That’s…
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