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Quality and quantity: The role of social interactions in individual health

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  • Damiano Fiorillo
  • Fabio Sabatini

Abstract

The public health literature focusing on the detrimental effects of social isolation has shown that the quantity of social connections is positively correlated with individual health. Drawing on pooled cross-sectional data, we test this hypothesis on a representative sample of the Italian population. Our findings show that, besides the quantity of interactions, it is their quality – as measured by subjective satisfaction derived from relationships with friends – that works as the best predictor of health. We point out the existence of health disparities based on socio-economic status. Poorer and less educated individuals are exposed to a higher probability of reporting poor health conditions. The risk is even worse for unemployed and retired workers. This paper contributes to the literature in two substantive dimensions. This is the first empirical study of the relationship between social interactions and health in Italy. Second, we add to previous studies by carrying out the first assessment of the role of satisfaction in interpersonal relations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy in its series Discussion Papers with number 2_2011.

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Date of creation: 23 Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:prt:dpaper:2_2011

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Keywords: health; well-being; satisfaction; social interactions; social capital; family; Italy.;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fabio Sabatini, 2011. "Can a click buy a little happiness? The impact of business-to-consumer e-commerce on subjective well-being," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2011_12, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  2. Fabio Sabatini, 2012. "Who Trusts B erlusconi? An Econometric Analysis of the Role of Television in the Political Arena," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 111-131, 02.
  3. Francesca Modena & Concetta Rondinelli & Fabio Sabatini, 2012. "Economic insecurity and fertility intentions: the case of Italy," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2012_18, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  4. Giacomo, Degli Antoni & Fabio, Sabatini, 2013. "Disentangling the relationship between nonprofit and social capital: the role of social cooperatives and social welfare associations in the development of networks of strong and weak ties," MPRA Paper 44860, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Sabatini, Fabio, 2014. "The relationship between happiness and health: Evidence from Italy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 178-187.
  6. Fabio Sabatini, 2011. "Who trusts Berlusconi? An econometric analysis of the role of television in the political arena," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2011_08, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  7. Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Democracy or videocracy? An econometric analysis of the role of television in the Italian political arena," MPRA Paper 31117, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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