Individual capital is an economic viewpoint that views talent in a sociological lens. The term “individual capital has also been recognized in economic theories including those of Adam Smith, the enterprise of labour and Karl Marx’s notion that individuals are not sources of creativity or management. The term can be used to explore the success and growth of entrepreneurial firms, and how communities evolve.


As sociology has developed through the years and aligning modernity, the term individual social capital has become a subset of Individual capital. Individual social capital has become a mix of economic and cultural capital. At the heart of this economic and cultural capital, social networks are central to the resources, relationship of resources and the impact of these relationships that produce goods and services for the common good.


How can individual social capital be measured?


There has been academic debate how it can be measured, however among academics in the field there has been no consensus on how exactly individual social capital can be measured.


A paper by Martin van der Daag and Tom Snijders entitled “Proposals for the measurement of individual social capital” offers a theory driven approach to how individual social capital can be measured. The academics propose that one of the most efficient ways to measure social capital is through the “Resource Generator” approach.


The Resource Generator is based on a questionnaire. This questionnaire would contain items asking about access to specific social resources. The access to these social resources would be obtained without asking who the individual network members are giving access to these resources. This requirement in van der Daag and Snijders’ paper would provide meaningful results on measuring social capital.

Read full paper here

Van der Gaag, M. and Snijders, T. Proposals for the Measurement of Individual Social Capital. Paper funded by NWO (project 510-05-0200) ‘Creation and Returns of Social Capital: Social Networks in Education and Labor Markets’ (SCALE)