In the last nineteen years we have witnessed an explosion of research on social capital in almost all the social sciences. The question addressed by this paper is the following one: what has been achieved during these years? The first part of the discussion is devoted to a review of the most influential definitions of social capital. The second point concerns the theoretical arguments on social capital’s impact on regional development: how social capital affects production, incomes and other output that we normally consider to be development. Starting from these considerations, the main theoretical problems in literature will be pointed out. Finally, the last part of this work refers to the future for studies on social capital and local and regional development.
Keywords: Economic growth, regional development, social capital.
Jel Code: M14, R11, Z13.