IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Does social capital determine health? Evidence from eight transition countries

Listed author(s):
  • d'Hombres, Beatrice
  • Rocco, Lorenzo
  • Suhrcke, Marc
  • McKee, Martin

This paper starts from an empirical assessment of different dimensions of social capital in the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The level of social capital is lower in CEE-CIS countries compared to other countries in Europe and beyond. We then use a unique data source to carefully investigate the impact of social capital on individual self-reported health for eight countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine). We rely on three indicators for social capital – individual degree of trust, participation in local organisations, social isolation – and employ alternative procedures to consistently estimate the impact of social capital on health. We attempt to circumvent the endogeneity problems by using instrumental variable estimates. Our results show that, in the overall sample comprising all eight countries, the individual degree of trust is positively and significantly correlated with health, either in pooling estimation or when we rely on IV estimators with community fixed effects. Similarly, social isolation is negatively and significantly associated with health, irrespective of the procedure of estimation. On the other hand, the effect of being member of a Putnamesque organisation is more ambiguous and usually not significantly related to health. Finally, country-estimates suggest that the impact of social capital on health varies across the eight countries. We argue that the positive effect of membership on health is conditional on the quality of the political institutions and civil liberties, while trust and social isolation seem to influence health independently of those institutional factors.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/1862/1/MPRA_paper_1862.pdf
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 1862.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2006
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1862
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Iversen, Tor, 2008. "An exploratory study of associations between social capital and self-assessed health in Norway," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(04), pages 349-364, October.
  2. Tomoki Nakaya, 2000. "An information statistical approach to the modifiable areal unit problem in incidence rate maps," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 32(1), pages 91-109, January.
  3. Wilkinson, Richard G & Pickett, Kate E., 2006. "Income inequality and population health: A review and explanation of the evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(7), pages 1768-1784, April.
  4. Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699 Elsevier.
  5. Folland, Sherman, 2007. "Does "community social capital" contribute to population health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(11), pages 2342-2354, June.
  6. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Mortality, Income, and Income Inequality Over time in Britain and the United States," Working Papers 267, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  7. Jennifer Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 1998. "Income Inequality and Health Status in the United States: Evidence From the Current Population Survey," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9815, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  8. Scheffler, Richard M. & Brown, Timothy T. & Rice, Jennifer K., 2007. "The role of social capital in reducing non-specific psychological distress: The importance of controlling for omitted variable bias," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 842-854, August.
  9. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Carlson, Per, 1998. "Self-perceived health in East and West Europe: another European health divide," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1355-1366, March.
  11. Jan Fidrmuc & Klarita G??rxhani, 2005. "Formation of social capital in Central and Eastern Europe: Understanding the gap vis-??-vis developed countries," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp766, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  12. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Daniel Gros & Marc Suhrcke, 2000. "Ten Years After: What is Special about Transition Countries?," CESifo Working Paper Series 327, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2004. "Social Capital and Contributions in a Public-Goods Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 373-376, May.
  15. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-529, October.
  16. Rose, Richard, 2000. "How much does social capital add to individual health?A survey study of Russians," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(9), pages 1421-1435, November.
  17. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
  18. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Kawachi, Ichiro & Kennedy, Bruce P., 1997. "The relationship of income inequality to mortality: Does the choice of indicator matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1121-1127, October.
  20. Pritchett, Lant & Woolcock, Michael, 2004. "Solutions When the Solution is the Problem: Arraying the Disarray in Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 191-212, February.
  21. Soobader, Mah-Jabeen & LeClere, Felicia B., 1999. "Aggregation and the measurement of income inequality: effects on morbidity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 733-744, March.
  22. Emmanuel Skoufias, 2003. "Consumption smoothing in Russia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(1), pages 67-91, March.
  23. de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Winters, Paul C. & Murgai, Rinku, 2000. "Localized and Incomplete Mutual Insurance," Working Papers 12905, University of New England, School of Economics.
  24. Subramanian, S. V. & Kawachi, Ichiro & Kennedy, Bruce P., 2001. "Does the state you live in make a difference? Multilevel analysis of self-rated health in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 9-19, July.
  25. 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.
  26. Poortinga, Wouter, 2006. "Social capital: An individual or collective resource for health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 292-302, January.
  27. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1862. 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: (Joachim Winter)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.