I examine the relationship between social and human capital in colonial Western Nigeria. Using data on expenditure of cocoa farmers in 1952, I show that farmers in townships with higher social spending individually spend more on education. The relationship holds after controlling for various characteristics of the farmers and the townships. Thus I show that there is a relationship between social and human capital and that this relationship was already present during the colonial era.
We propose a multisector endogenous growth model incorporating social capital. Social capital only serves as an input in the production of human capital and it involves a cost in terms of the final good. We show that in contrast to existing alternative specifications, this setting assures that social capital enhances productivity gains by playing the role of a timing belt driving the transmission and propagation of all productivity shocks throughout society whatever the sectoral origin of the shocks.