IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/16025.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How Much is Social Capital Worth?

Author

Listed:
  • John F. Helliwell
  • Christopher P. Barrington-Leigh

Abstract

This paper uses data from global and Canadian surveys data to estimate the powerful linkages between social connections, their related social identities, and subjective well-being. Our explanatory variables include several measures of the extent and frequency of use of social networks, combined with a number of measures of general and domain-specific trust, which are often used to gauge effective social capital. Using these measures we find that trust and social network size and use are all strong predictors of subjective well-being. We demonstrate the size and impact of these effects by calculating compensating differentials, measured as the changes in household income that would produce equivalent levels of life satisfaction. We introduce three key measures of social identity - the respondents' sense of belonging to their communities, province and country - and find that they add significantly to the explanation of life satisfaction among Canadian respondents, and provide important mediating channels whereby social capital is linked to subjective well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • John F. Helliwell & Christopher P. Barrington-Leigh, 2010. "How Much is Social Capital Worth?," NBER Working Papers 16025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16025
    Note: PE POL
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16025.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daniel Kahneman & Peter P. Wakker & Rakesh Sarin, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-406.
    2. Angus Deaton, 2008. "Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 53-72, Spring.
    3. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
    4. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_income_health_and_wellbeing_around_the_world_evidence_%20from_gall is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    6. John Helliwell, 2007. "Well-Being and Social Capital: Does Suicide Pose a Puzzle?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 455-496, May.
    7. John F. Helliwell & Haifang Huang, 2010. "How's the Job? Well-Being and Social Capital in the Workplace," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 205-227, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Dave Roberts on Great Spaces and Political Freedom
      by Mike in Rortybomb on 2011-05-27 00:08:11

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Owsiński, Jan W. & Pielak, Aneta M. & Sęp, Krzysztof, 2013. "Smartness, culture and local authority ICT awareness: an empirical enquiry for a province in Poland," Studies in Agricultural Economics, Research Institute for Agricultural Economics, vol. 115(2), June.
    2. John F. Helliwell, 2014. "Understanding and improving the social context of well-being," Chapters,in: Well-Being and Beyond, chapter 5, pages 125-143 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Graafland, J.J. & Compen, B., 2012. "Economic Freedom and Life Satisfaction : A Cross Country Analysis," Discussion Paper 2012-038, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Viola Berlepsch, 2014. "Social Capital and Individual Happiness in Europe," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 357-386, April.
    5. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9808-z is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Efstratia Arampatzi & Martijn J. Burger & Natallia Novik, 2018. "Social Network Sites, Individual Social Capital and Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 99-122, January.
    7. Mariska Horst & Hilde Coffé, 2012. "How Friendship Network Characteristics Influence Subjective Well-Being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 107(3), pages 509-529, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16025. 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: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.