IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Social Capital and the Internet: Evidence from Swiss Panel Data


  • Axel Franzen


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Franzen, 2003. "Social Capital and the Internet: Evidence from Swiss Panel Data," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 341-360, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:56:y:2003:i:3:p:341-360

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jonathan E. Haskel & Sonia C. Pereira & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2007. "Does Inward Foreign Direct Investment Boost the Productivity of Domestic Firms?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 482-496, August.
    2. Haaland, Jan I. & Wooton, Ian, 2002. "Multinational Investment, Industry Risk and Policy Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 3152, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Robert E. Lipsey, 2001. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Operations of Multinational Firms: Concepts, History, and Data," NBER Working Papers 8665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Thierry Pénard & Alexandre Mayol, 2015. "Facebook use and individual well-being: Like me to make me happier!," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201506, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    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. 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).
    4. 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.
    5. PENARD Thierry & POUSSING Nicolas & MUKOKO Blaise & TAMOKWE Georges Bertrand, 2013. "Internet adoption and usage patterns in Africa: Evidence from Cameroon," LISER Working Paper Series 2013-22, LISER.
    6. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Woessmann, Ludger, 2014. "Surfing alone? The internet and social capital: Evidence from an unforeseeable technological mistake," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 73-89.
    7. Pénard, Thierry & Poussing, Nicolas & Suire, Raphaël, 2013. "Does the Internet make people happier?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 105-116.
    8. 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.
    9. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2012. "See you on Facebook! A framework for analyzing the role of computer-mediated interaction in the evolution of social capital," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 541-547.
    10. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:1:p:308-325 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Fiona Scott Morton, 2006. "Consumer Benefit from Use of the Internet," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 6, pages 67-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Jain, Rekha, 2016. "Measuring the Perceived Impact of Internet on Individuals in Rural India," IIMA Working Papers WP2016-03-61, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:56:y:2003:i:3:p:341-360. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.