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Social Capital and the Internet: Evidence from Swiss Panel Data

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  • Axel Franzen
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    Abstract

    A lively debate has recently emerged about the consequences of the diffusion of the Internet. While many social scientists emphasize the beneficial economic consequences of the Internet some suspect that it has also disadvantages for users' social capital. So far the existing empirical evidence concerning the effect on social capital is mainly based on cross-sectional data and is still contradictory. This study is based on a longitudinal survey conducted in 1998 and 2001 among a random sample of Swiss citizens. It analyzes the determinants of the adoption of the Internet and the consequences for respondents' personal networks as well as the time they spent socializing with their network. The results show that the Internet was adopted sooner by individuals with high financial, human and social capital. Furthermore, the results suggest that Internet use is not associated with a reduction in respondents' networks or with the time they spent socializing with friends. Instead the findings suggest that the time users devote to the Internet is taken away from the time they spend on watching television. Copyright WWZ and Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag AG 2003.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.

    Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 (08)
    Pages: 341-360

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:56:y:2003:i:3:p:341-360

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    Cited by:
    1. Stefan Bauernschuster & Oliver Falck & Ludger Wößmann, 2011. "Surfing Alone? The Internet and Social Capital: Evidence from an Unforeseen Technological Mistake," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 392, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2012. "The Solaria syndrome: Social capital in a growing hyper-technological economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 802-814.
    3. Thierry Pénard & Nicolas Poussing & Raphaël Suire, 2013. "Does the Internet make people happier?," Post-Print halshs-00864314, HAL.
    4. Antoci Angelo & Sabatini Fabio & Sodini Mauro, 2011. "See you on Facebook! A framework for analyzing the role of computer-mediated interaction in the evolution of social capital," wp.comunite 0072, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    5. Angelo Antoci & Fabio Sabatini & Mauro Sodini, 2014. "Bowling alone but tweeting together: the evolution of human interaction in the social networking era," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 1911-1927, July.
    6. Thierry PENARD & Nicolas POUSSING & Gabriel ZOMO YEBE & Philémon NSI ELLA, 2012. "Comparing the Determinants of Internet and Cell Phone Use in Africa: Evidence from Gabon," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(86), pages 65-83, 2nd quart.
    7. PENARD Thierry & POUSSING Nicolas & MUKOKO Blaise & TAMOKWE Georges Bertrand, 2013. "Internet adoption and usage patterns in Africa: Evidence from Cameroon," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2013-22, CEPS/INSTEAD.

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