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Social capital and the social formation of health-related preferences and behaviours

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  • COSTA-FONT, JOAN
  • MLADOVSKY, PHILIPA

Abstract

Social capital appears to be an important determinant of health production and health utilization and demand. However, there is limited evidence on the mechanisms underlying this relationship. In this article we draw on the evidence and insights reported in this special issue along with findings from the economic and other social science literature to develop a discussion on the explanations of the likely (behavioural) mechanisms that underpin the connection between social capital and health. An important and under-explored influence mediating the relationship between social capital and health (behaviour) lies in the ‘social formation of health preferences and constraints’ individuals face in determining their life-styles and in using health care. In particular, we point to the interdependence in how individuals in the first place perceive and also respond to common health risks and the role of cultural transmission and social identity as conveyors of this process. We argue that an emerging body of evidence suggesting that interdependent preferences influence health calls for further re-formulation of traditional demand for and production of health models. Additionally, methodological problems are highlighted and possible ways forward suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Costa-Font, Joan & Mladovsky, Philipa, 2008. "Social capital and the social formation of health-related preferences and behaviours," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(04), pages 413-427, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:hecopl:v:3:y:2008:i:04:p:413-427_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Eiji Yamamura, 2011. "Differences in the effect of social capital on health status between workers and non-workers," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 58(4), pages 385-400, December.
    2. Yamamura, Eiji, 2015. "Social capital and views on suicide via the internet: a study using survey data," MPRA Paper 64071, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Different effects of social capital on health status among residents: Evidence from modern Japan," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 475-479.
    4. Sheabo Dessalegn, S., 2017. "Social capital and maternal health care use in rural Ethiopia," Other publications TiSEM bb0ec225-4ec3-4028-90d6-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Adriana Castelli & Rowena Jacobs & Maria Goddard & Peter C Smith, 2009. "Exploring the impact of public services on quality of life indicators," Working Papers 046cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    6. Yamamura, Eiji, 2009. "Differences of the effects of social capital on health status among residents: evidence from modern Japan," MPRA Paper 14983, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Damien Bricard & Florence Jusot, 2012. "Intergenerational transmission of health care habits in France," Post-Print hal-01593803, HAL.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Joan Costa-Font & Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Steven T. Yen, 2013. "Not All Incentives Wash Out the Warm Glow: The Case of Blood Donation Revisited," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 529-551, November.
    11. Özcan, Burcu & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2011. "Social trust and human development," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 753-762.
    12. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10720 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Yamamura, Eiji, 2009. "Why effects of social capital on health status differ between genders: considering the labor market condition," MPRA Paper 14985, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Kritsotakis, George & Vassilaki, Maria & Chatzi, Leda & Georgiou, Vaggelis & Philalithis, Anastassios E. & Kogevinas, Manolis & Koutis, Antonis, 2011. "Maternal social capital and birth outcomes in the mother–child cohort in Crete, Greece (Rhea study)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(11), pages 1653-1660.

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