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Social capital and having a regular family doctor: Evidence from longitudinal data

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  • Bataineh, Hana
  • Devlin, Rose Anne
  • Barham, Vicky

Abstract

Access to a regular source of health-care is problematic for some, irrespective of whether the regime is publicly or privately funded. Yet, evidence shows that access to a regular family doctor improves health outcomes. We are the first to examine the impact of social capital (e.g., tangible support, friends and family) on having a regular family doctor taking into account that social capital may be endogenously determined. Using the Canadian National Population Health longitudinal survey (1994–2010: n = 41,022) and a dynamic random effects probit model (with and without endogenous initial conditions) we find robust evidence of a statistically significant and positive causal relationship between social capital and the probability of having a regular family doctor. Since past access to a family doctor is a strong predictor of both current and future access, we show that social capital is much more important in helping individuals find a family doctor than for keeping one.

Suggested Citation

  • Bataineh, Hana & Devlin, Rose Anne & Barham, Vicky, 2019. "Social capital and having a regular family doctor: Evidence from longitudinal data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 220(C), pages 421-429.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:220:y:2019:i:c:p:421-429
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.12.003
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Canada; Social capital; Social networks; Regular family doctor; National population health survey;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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