Does social capital enhance health and well-being? Evidence from rural China
AbstractDespite increasing acknowledgement that social capital is an important determinant of health and overall well-being, empirical evidence regarding the direction and strength of these linkages in the developing world is limited and inconclusive. This paper empirically examines relationships between social capital and health and well-being--as well as the suitability of commonly used social capital measures--in rural China, where rapid economic growth coexists with gradual and fundamental social changes. To measure social capital, we adopt a structural/cognitive distinction, whereby structural social capital is measured by organizational membership and cognitive social capital is measured by a composite index of trust, reciprocity, and mutual help. Our outcome measures included self-reported general health, psychological health, and subjective well-being. We adopt multi-level estimation methods to account for our conceptualization of social capital as both an individual- and contextual-level resource. Results indicate that cognitive social capital (i.e., trust) is positively associated with all three outcome measures at the individual level and psychological health/subjective well-being at the village level as well. We further find that trust affects health and well-being through pathways of social network and support. In contrast, there is little statistical association or consistent pattern between structural social capital (organizational membership) and the outcome variables. Furthermore, although organizational membership is highly correlated with collective action, neither is associated with health or well-being. Our results suggest that policies aimed at producing an environment that enhances social networks and facilitates the exchange of social support hold promise for improving the health and well-being of the rural Chinese population. In addition, China may not have fully taken advantage of the potential contribution of structural social capital in advancing health and well-being. A redirection of collective action from economic to social activities may be worth considering.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.
Volume (Year): 64 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Isabella Santini & Anna de Pascale, . "Social capital and its impact on poverty reduction: measurement issues in longitudinal and cross-country comparisons. Towards a unified framework in the European Union," Working Papers 101/12, Sapienza University of Rome, Metodi e modelli per l'economia, il territorio e la finanza MEMOTEF.
- J. Cramm & V. Møller & A. Nieboer, 2012. "Individual- and Neighbourhood-Level Indicators of Subjective Well-Being in a Small and Poor Eastern Cape Township: The Effect of Health, Social Capital, Marital Status, and Income," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 105(3), pages 581-593, February.
- Sehee Han & Heaseung Kim & Eung-Sun Lee & Hee-Sun Lee, 2013. "The Contextual and Compositional Associations of Social Capital and Subjective Happiness: A Multilevel Analysis from Seoul, South Korea," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 1183-1200, August.
- Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2011.
"Structural social capital and health in Italy,"
32392, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- D. Fiorillo; & F. Sabatini;, 2011. "Structural social capital and health in Italy," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/23, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Damiano Fiorillo & Fabio Sabatini, 2011. "Structural social capital and health in Italy," Discussion Papers 8_2011, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
- Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Structural social capital and health in Italy," MPRA Paper 32367, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Yamamura, Eiji, 2011.
"Differences in the effect of social capital on health status between workers and non-workers,"
32064, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Eiji Yamamura, 2011. "Differences in the effect of social capital on health status between workers and non-workers," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 58(4), pages 385-400, December.
- Yamamura, Eiji, 2010. "Differences in the effect of social capital on health status between workers and non-workers," MPRA Paper 22967, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Differences in the effect of social capital on health status between workers and non-workers," MPRA Paper 29536, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Wan-chi Chen, 2012. "How Education Enhances Happiness: Comparison of Mediating Factors in Four East Asian Countries," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 106(1), pages 117-131, March.
- Kumar, Santosh & Calvo, Rocio & Avendano, Mauricio & Sivaramakrishnan, Kavita & Berkman, Lisa F., 2012. "Social support, volunteering and health around the world: Cross-national evidence from 139 countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(5), pages 696-706.
- Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Quality and quantity: The role of social interactions in self-reported individual health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(11), pages 1644-1652.
- Sehee Han & Heaseung Kim & Hee-Sun Lee, 2013. "A Multilevel Analysis of the Compositional and Contextual Association of Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being in Seoul, South Korea," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 185-202, March.
- Nauenberg, Eric & Laporte, Audrey & Shen, Leilei, 2011. "Social capital, community size and utilization of health services: A lagged analysis," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 38-46.
- Davison, Kirsten K. & Nishi, Akihiro & Kranz, Sibylle & Wyckoff, Lynae & May, John J. & Earle-Richardson, Giulia B. & Strogatz, David S. & Jenkins, Paul L., 2012. "Associations among social capital, parenting for active lifestyles, and youth physical activity in rural families living in upstate New York," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(8), pages 1488-1496.
- Neena Chappell & Laura Funk, 2010. "Social Capital: Does it Add to the Health Inequalities Debate?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 99(3), pages 357-373, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.