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Social capital and the spread of Covid-19: Insights from European countries

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  • Siegloch, Sebastian
  • Bartscher, Alina
  • Seitz, Sebastian
  • Slotwinski, Michaela
  • Wehrhöfer, Nils

Abstract

We investigate the effect of social capital on health outcomes during the Covid-19 pandemic in independent analyses for Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. Exploiting detailed geographical variation within countries, we show that a one-standard-deviation increase in social capital leads to between 14% and 34% fewer Covid-19 cases per capita accumulated from mid-March until end of June 2020, as well as between 6% and 35% fewer excess deaths per capita. Our results highlight the positive health returns of strengthening social capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Siegloch, Sebastian & Bartscher, Alina & Seitz, Sebastian & Slotwinski, Michaela & Wehrhöfer, Nils, 2020. "Social capital and the spread of Covid-19: Insights from European countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 14866, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:14866
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Covid-19; Social capital; Collective action; Health costs; Europe;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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