The contextual effects of social capital on health: A cross-national instrumental variable analysis
Past research on the associations between area-level/contextual social capital and health has produced conflicting evidence. However, interpreting this rapidly growing literature is difficult because estimates using conventional regression are prone to major sources of bias including residual confounding and reverse causation. Instrumental variable (IV) analysis can reduce such bias. Using data on up to 167 344 adults in 64 nations in the European and World Values Surveys and applying IV and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression, we estimated the contextual effects of country-level social trust on individual self-rated health. We further explored whether these associations varied by gender and individual levels of trust. Using OLS regression, we found higher average country-level trust to be associated with better self-rated health in both women and men. Instrumental variable analysis yielded qualitatively similar results, although the estimates were more than double in size in both sexes when country population density and corruption were used as instruments. The estimated health effects of raising the percentage of a country’s population that trusts others by 10 percentage points were at least as large as the estimated health effects of an individual developing trust in others. These findings were robust to alternative model specifications and instruments. Conventional regression and to a lesser extent IV analysis suggested that these associations are more salient in women and in women reporting social trust. In a large cross-national study, our findings, including those using instrumental variables, support the presence of beneficial effects of higher country-level trust on self-rated health. Previous findings for contextual social capital using traditional regression may have underestimated the true associations. Given the close linkages between self-rated health and all-cause mortality, the public health gains from raising social capital within and across countries may be large.
If 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.
Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
Issue (Month): 12 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Richard Paap & Frank Kleibergen, 2004.
"Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition,"
Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings
195, Econometric Society.
- Kleibergen, Frank & Paap, Richard, 2006. "Generalized reduced rank tests using the singular value decomposition," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 97-126, July.
- Kleibergen, F.R. & Paap, R., 2003. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2003-01, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
- Frank Kleibergen & Richard Paap, 2003. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-003/4, Tinbergen Institute.
- Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003.
NBER Working Papers
9411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio, 2002. "Fractionalization," Research Papers 1744, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
- Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/229724, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2002. "Fractionalization," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1959, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Paul Collier, 1998. "The political economy of ethnicity," CSAE Working Paper Series 1998-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Kim, Daniel & Subramanian, S.V. & Gortmaker, Steven L. & Kawachi, Ichiro, 2006. "US state- and county-level social capital in relation to obesity and physical inactivity: A multilevel, multivariable analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 1045-1059, August.
- Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay & Massimo Mastruzzi, 2003.
"Governance Matters III: Governance Indicators for 1996-2002,"
Development and Comp Systems
- Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay & Massimo Mastruzzi, 2003. "Governance Matters III: Governance Indicators for 1996-2002," Macroeconomics 0308006, EconWPA.
- Christopher F Baum, 2006. "An Introduction to Modern Econometrics using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, number imeus, September.
- Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2007.
"Enhanced routines for instrumental variables/GMM estimation and testing,"
Boston College Working Papers in Economics
667, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 05 Sep 2007.
- Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2007. "Enhanced routines for instrumental variables/GMM estimation and testing," CERT Discussion Papers 0706, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001.
"Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
- Joshua Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jan K. Brueckner & Ann G. Largey, 2006.
"Social Interaction and Urban Sprawl,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
1843, CESifo Group Munich.
- Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004.
"Greed and grievance in civil war,"
Oxford Economic Papers,
Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
- Kim, Daniel & Kawachi, Ichiro & Hoorn, Stephen Vander & Ezzati, Majid, 2008. "Is inequality at the heart of it? Cross-country associations of income inequality with cardiovascular diseases and risk factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1719-1732, April.
- Kennelly, Brendan & O'Shea, Eamon & Garvey, Eoghan, 2003. "Social capital, life expectancy and mortality: a cross-national examination," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(12), pages 2367-2377, June.
- Paul Collier, 1998. "The political economy of ethnicity," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1998-08, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Mansyur, Carol & Amick, Benjamin C. & Harrist, Ronald B. & Franzini, Luisa, 2008. "Social capital, income inequality, and self-rated health in 45 countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 43-56, January.
- M. Ruth & K. Donaghy & P. Kirshen, 2006. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Regional Climate Change and Variability, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Poortinga, Wouter, 2006. "Social capital: An individual or collective resource for health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 292-302, January.
- De Silva, Mary J. & Huttly, Sharon R. & Harpham, Trudy & Kenward, Michael G., 2007. "Social capital and mental health: A comparative analysis of four low income countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 5-20, January.
- repec:fth:oxesaf:98-8 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:12:p:1689-1697. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.