Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 330: Creativity as an integral element of social capital and its role for economic performance

Hans Westlund (), Martin Andersson () and Charlie Karlsson ()
Additional contact information
Hans Westlund: Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm & Jönköping International Business School, Postal: Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Martin Andersson: CIRCLE, Lund University & Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona
Charlie Karlsson: CESIS, Jönköping International Business School & Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden,

Abstract: In this paper, we focus on the connections between creativity, social capital and economic performance and growth. Our working hypothesis is that both creativity and social capital influences the economy, both each per se, but also through their influence on each other. We regard creativity as one of the sources of entrepreneurship and innovation (although creativity also can have ‘bad’ consequences if bad actors such as criminals perform it). Depending on the types of networks and the norms and values being distributed in them, social capital can promote entrepreneurship and innovation and thus economic growth, but social capital can have an inhibiting effect on entrepreneurship and innovation. Social capital can contribute to creativity by dynamic networks and/or values and attitudes that promote experimentation, but social capital can also counteract creativity by rigid networks and values that support status quo. Efforts to defend status quo might be creative in a sense, but the creativity that we focus on in this paper, that with positive impact on economic growth, is only found in the social capitals that support economic growth and change.

Keywords: Creativity; social capital; norms; values; attitudes; institutions; networks; innovation; entrepreneurship; economic performance; economic growth

JEL-codes: D80; L14; L26; O31; O43; R11

31 pages, November 22, 2013

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