Empirical studies from across the social and behavioral sciences find that social capital is associated with various measures of well-being, including economic growth and mortality. however, such evidence is plagued by concerns that survey-based measures of trust and participation are not meaningful; in particular, recent experimental evidence from trust games conducted by Edward L. Glaeser et al. (2000) calls into question the efficacy of the most prevalent measures of social capital employed in the literature.
American Economic Review
Anderson, Lisa R.; Mellor, Jennifer M.; and Milyo, Jeffrey, Social capital and contributions in a public-goods experiment (2004). American Economic Review, 94(2), 373-376.