A1 Journal article (refereed)
The effect of early career social capital on long-term income development in Finland (2020)

Oinas, T., Ruuskanen, P., Hakala, M., & Anttila, T. (2020). The effect of early career social capital on long-term income development in Finland. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 40(11/12), 1373-1390. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-02-2020-0032

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Oinas, Tomi; Ruuskanen, Petri; Hakala, Mari; Anttila, Timo

Journal or series: International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

eISSN: 1758-6720

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 40

Issue number: 11/12

Pages range: 1373-1390

Publisher: Emerald

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-02-2020-0032

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/70370


Purpose – In this study, the authors examine whether social capital embedded in individuals’ social networks
is connected to employees’ long-term income development in Finland.
Design/methodology/approach – Analyses are based on 25–35-year-old employees from the Finnish Living
Conditions Survey of 1994 combined with register data on earned incomes from 1995 to 2016. The authors used questions addressing the frequency of meeting parents or siblings, spending free time with co-workers and
participation in associational, civic or other societal activities as measures of the extent of network capital.
Ordered logistic model was used to examine whether the size and composition of social networks differ by
gender and socio-economic status. Linear growth curve models were employed to estimate the effect of social
capital on long-term income development.
Findings – Results indicate minor differences in network composition according to gender, but large
differences between socio-economic groups. The authors found that income development was faster for those
who participated in civic activities occasionally or who met their relatives or co-workers on a monthly basis,
that is, for the “middle group”.
Research limitations/implications – Results are generalizable only to Finnish or Nordic welfare state
context. The authors’ measures of social capital come from cross-sectional survey. Thus, the authors are not
able to address the stability or accumulation of social capital during life course. This restriction will probably
cause the authors’ analysis to underestimate the true effect of social capital on earned incomes.
Practical implications – Moderate-level investments to network capital seem to be the most beneficial with
regard to the long-term income development.
Social implications – The study results give support to the idea that social capital can be transformed into
economic capital. The results also imply that in economic terms it is important to balance diverse forms of social
capital. At the policy level, a special emphasis should be directed to employees with low-socio-economic
position. These people are especially vulnerable as their low level of income is combined with network
composition that hinders their further income development.
Originality/value – The combined survey and register data give unique insight on how the social capital
embedded in individuals’ social networks is connected with long-term income development.

Keywords: social capital; social networks; labour market; labour status; wage development; income differences; gender; socioeconomic status

Free keywords: gender; social networks; labour market; income; social capital

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-17-06 at 12:13