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Working paper

Does Ethnic Diversity Affect Social Capital in the Russian Context?

Tatarko A., Mironova A. A., Chuvashov S. V.
The research is devoted to the consideration of the impact of ethnic diversity on social capital in the Russian context. Theoretical studies are based on Putnam’s hypothesis (Putnam, 2007) related to the impact of ethnic heterogeneity on social capital, as well as a number of empirical studies performed in this field in different countries. In the study “bridging” (generalized trust, norms of ethnic tolerance) and “bonding” (formal and informal networks) components of social capital are considered as dependent variables. Empirical basis of a representative survey was compiled in two multicultural regions of Russia (N = 2061). To assess the level of ethnic diversity a specific indicator (Ethnic Diversity Index – EDI) was calculated based on the results of the latest National Population Census. Data were processed using two-level structural equitation modeling. The results showed that ethnic diversity did not affect adversely the social capital of Russia, as had been assumed in Putnam’s hypothesis. In particular, Russia's ethnic diversity positively influences norms of ethnic tolerance and informal networks and does not affect penalized trust and formal networks. The article discusses the reasons for these results.