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The Social Capital and Health Hypothesis: A Theory and New Empirics Featuring the Norwegian HUNT Data

We develop and explore an economic model in which cigarette consumption enhances utility but reduces the probability of survival through the period. Social capital is produced by time spent developing and maintaining social relationships. By requiring time inputs, social capital has an opportunity cost, represented by the wage. Elements exogenous to the subject’s decision making, such as the introduction of city parks, new social clubs, or the influence of local social norms enhance the productivity of time spent in social activity so as to produce utility. This framework is cast deliberately in a compact model so as to reveal fundamental relationships and permit clear comparative static analysis. These are tested in a Norwegian longitudinal data set new to this field of study.

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Paper provided by University of Bergen, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 04/12.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 19 Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2012_004
Contact details of provider: Postal: Institutt for økonomi, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway
Phone: (+47)55589200
Fax: (+47)55589210
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  1. Steven N. Durlauf, 2002. "On the Empirics of Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 459-479, November.
  2. Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2004. "State Social Capital and Individual Health Status," Working Papers 05, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  3. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  4. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  5. Poortinga, Wouter, 2006. "Social capital: An individual or collective resource for health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 292-302, January.
  6. Islam, M. Kamrul & Merlo, Juan & Kawachi, Ichiro & Lindstr m, Martin & Burstr m, Kristina & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2006. "Does it really matter where you live? A panel data multilevel analysis of Swedish municipality-level social capital on individual health-related quality of life," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 209-235, July.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
  8. Motohiro Yogo, 2004. "Estimating the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution When Instruments Are Weak," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 797-810, August.
  9. Sherman Folland, 2006. "Value of life and behavior toward health risks: an interpretation of social capital," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 159-171.
  10. Folland, Sherman, 2007. "Does "community social capital" contribute to population health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(11), pages 2342-2354, June.
  11. d'Hombres, Beatrice & Rocco, Lorenzo & Suhrcke, Marc & McKee, Martin, 2006. "Does social capital determine health? Evidence from eight transition countries," MPRA Paper 1862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Thomas DeLeire & Helen Levy, 2004. "Worker Sorting and the Risk of Death on the Job," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 925-954, October.
  13. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  14. Akerlof, George A, 1998. "Men without Children," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 287-309, March.
  15. Folland, Sherman, 2008. "An economic model of social capital and health," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(04), pages 333-348, October.
  16. Islam, M. Kamrul & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gullberg, Bo & Lindström, Martin & Merlo, Juan, 2008. "Social capital externalities and mortality in Sweden," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 19-42, March.
  17. Jonathan Gruber & Jonathan Zinman, 2000. "Youth Smoking in the U.S.: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
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