• Description

In recent years, social scientists have identified many factors that facilitateupward income mobility, from early childhood health interventions toelementary school improvements to sectoral job training programs. Inaddition to these approaches, many have argued that social capital – thestrength of an individual's social network and community – may be animportant factor in upward mobility. But social capital has proven to bechallenging to measure, making it difficult to study whether it matters,and, if it does, how it can be increased.

To address this challenge, we use privacy-protected data on 21 billionfriendships from Facebook to measure three types of social capital incommunities across America: