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

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Abstract

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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  • Folland, Sherman & Islam, Muhammad Quamrul & Kaarbøe, Oddvar Martin, 2012. "The Social Capital and Health Hypothesis: A Theory and New Empirics Featuring the Norwegian HUNT Data," Working Papers in Economics 04/12, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2012_004
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    File URL: http://www.uib.no/filearchive/w.p.-04.12_1.pdf
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    1. 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.
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    6. 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.
    7. Folland, Sherman, 2007. "Does "community social capital" contribute to population health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(11), pages 2342-2354, June.
    8. 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 223-255, March-Apr.
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    12. Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2003. "State Social Capital and Individual Health Status," Working Papers 0310, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    13. B. d'Hombres & L. Rocco & M. Suhrcke & M. McKee, 2010. "Does social capital determine health? Evidence from eight transition countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 56-74.
    14. Steven N. Durlauf, 2002. "On the Empirics of Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 459-479, November.
    15. 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.
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    19. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social norms and social capital; HUNT data set;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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