The effects of specific occupations in position generator measures of social capital
Summary, in 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.