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Life Satisfaction, Social Capital and the Bonding-Bridging Nexus

Author

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  • Maurizio Pugno

    (University of Cassino)

  • Paolo Verme

    (University of Torino)

Abstract

The paper investigates the relation between social capital and life satisfaction focusing on the distinction between bonding and bridging as introduced by Putnam (2000). Using the latest version of the combined World and European Values Surveys, we first address the question of measurement of social capital by means of a multi-step factor analysis. Through this procedure, we find that proxies typically used for social capital tend to polarize around two dimensions interpreted as bonding and bridging. These two dimensions are in fact associated with a single latent variable with opposite signs suggesting that they describe two sides of the same latent variable rather than two independent latent variables. We call this latent variable the locus of socializing and use it to explore the relation between social capital and life satisfaction across world citizens and across groups of similar countries. The results indicate that people with extreme bonding or bridging behavior are less happy than people with more balanced attitudes. Unlike the literature on social capital and economic growth that finds bridging attitudes more desirable than bonding attitudes, we find that bonding attitudes are at least as important as bridging attitudes for life satisfaction. This suggests that the social capital dimensions important for economic growth may not necessarily coincide with the social capital dimensions important for life satisfaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Maurizio Pugno & Paolo Verme, 2011. "Life Satisfaction, Social Capital and the Bonding-Bridging Nexus," Working Papers 2011-08, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche.
  • Handle: RePEc:css:wpaper:2011-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Leonardo Becchetti & Alessandra Pelloni & Fiammetta Rossetti, 2008. "Relational Goods, Sociability, and Happiness," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 343-363, August.
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    6. Woolcock, Michael & Narayan, Deepa, 2000. "Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research, and Policy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 225-249, August.
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    8. Bjornskov, Christian, 2006. "The multiple facets of social capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 22-40, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dilli, Selin & Elert, Niklas, 2016. "The Diversity of Entrepreneurial Regimes in Europe," Working Paper Series 1118, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    2. Elert, Niklas & Henrekson, Magnus & Stenkula, Mikael, 2017. "Institutional Reform for Innovation and Entrepreneurship: An Agenda for Europe," Working Paper Series 1150, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 16 Feb 2017.
    3. Brenda Gannon & Jennifer Roberts, 2014. "The Multidimensional Nature of Social Capital: An Empirical Investigation for Older People in Europe," Working Papers 2014014, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    4. Nalin Kumar Ramaul & Pinki Ramaul, 2016. "Determinants of Industrial Location Choice in India: A Polychoric Principal Component Analysis Approach," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 14(1), pages 29-56, June.
    5. Brenda Gannon & Jennifer Roberts, 2012. "Social Capital: Bridging the Theory and Empirical Divide," Working Papers 2012028, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    6. Francesco Pasimeni & Paolo Pasimeni, 2016. "An Institutional Analysis of the Europe 2020 Strategy," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 1021-1038, July.
    7. Kathy Baylis & Yazhen Gong & Shun Wang, 2013. "Bridging vs. Bonding Social Capital and the Management of Common Pool Resources," NBER Working Papers 19195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life Satisfaction; Social Capital; Bonding; Bridging;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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