Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

The effects of specific occupations in position generator measures of social capital

  • Martin Hällsten
  • Christofer Edling
  • Jens Rydgren
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 55-63
Publication/Series: Social Networks
Volume: 40
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

The position generator is a widespread method for measuring latent social capital in which respondents are queried about contacts on a list of occupations predefined by the analyst. We separate out the unique contribution of each occupation to aggregated measures of social capital. It turns out that this contribution varies vastly: knowing a person in some occupations provides substance to measures of social capital, while knowing a person in a few occupations is irrelevant and contributes statistical noise and causes attenuation bias. We discuss the implication of our findings for the design of position generator measures generally.


  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • social capital
  • position generator
  • measurement error
  • Jack-knife
  • sociologi
  • sociology


  • ISSN: 0378-8733
Christofer Edling
E-mail: christofer [dot] edling [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se


Faculty of Social Sciences

+46 46 222 88 62



Centre for Economic Demography




+46 46 222 88 62




I earned my PhD from Stockholm University in 1999. Between 2002 and 2005 I was Torgny Segerstedt Pro Futura Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study at Uppsala University. I received my Docent-title in 2003, and was appointed Associate Professor at Stockholm University in 2004. From 2006 to 2008 I was Head of the Department of Sociology at Stockholm university. Before coming to Lund in 2012 I served as Full Professor of Sociology at Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany. I have been a fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2004/05) and Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (2013).

Department of Sociology
Lund University
Visiting address: Sandgatan 11, House G, Lund
Postal address: Box 114 , SE-221 00 LUND, SWEDEN
Telephone: Student Office +46 46-222 88 44, Lund University Switchboard +46 46-222 00 00

Faculty of Social Sciences